Posts tagged Michelle MacDonald

MacDonald begins fourth campaign for MN Supreme Court

UPDATE (4:04 PM, Friday, December 13, 2019) – This story has been updated to include confirmation from Justice Paul Thissen’s campaign that he will stand for election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020. 

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Michelle MacDonald launched her candidacy today for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020, just hours after her attorney argued in court that she wasn’t a public figure because she wasn’t a candidate for public office.

During oral arguments at the Minnesota Court of Appeals MacDonald’s attorney, Karlowba R. Adams Powell, told the three judges who were hearing MacDonald’s appeal that since MacDonald was not a candidate for office, she was not a public figure.

But within hours after the hearing ended, MacDonald’s Twitter profile was updated to encourage people to “Vote for Michelle MacDonald for Justice in 2020…”

This is MacDonald’s fourth campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court. MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Since 2014, MacDonald has maintained an active campaign committee and website to promote her candidacy.

Today’s activity by MacDonald on social media is the first public campaigning she has specifically done for her fourth campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court since announcing in July through an unrelated lawsuit that she planned to run for office “in 2020 and in the future.”

MacDonald will likely face Justice Paul Thissen, who was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Mark Dayton in 2018. Thissen has not made a formal announcement that he will seek election to the Minnesota Supreme court, but a representative of his campaign committee confirmed on Friday he will run for election in 2020.

MacDonald’s legal work examined in an award-winning true crime book

An examination of MacDonald’s legal work was detailed in the book, The Girls Are Gone which was released on October 23, 2018. The book also includes new information about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden.

The Girls Are Gone also explores the connection between MacDonald and two people convicted for their roles in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki but did not cooperate in the investigation.

Since being released in October 2018,  The Girls Are Gone has been a commercial and critical success. In April, Brodkorb and Allison Mann were awarded a 2019 Independent Publisher Book AwardThe Kindle Edition of The Girls Are Gone has appeared on multiple “best seller” lists by AmazonThe Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing.

In October, Brodkorb and Mann released an audiobook of The Girls Are Gone, which was produced at Studio AmericanaThe Girls Are Gone is available for sale through numerous retailers in audiobook, paperback, and ebook.

Court affirms ruling that MacDonald “knowingly violated” campaign law

In September 2017, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling from the Office of Administrative Hearings that MacDonald “knowingly violated” campaign law when she falsely claimed she was endorsed by a non-existent Republican organization during her 2016 campaign.

In December 2016, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) ruled against MacDonald and also imposed a $500 civil penalty for violating the Minnesota Fair Campaign Practices Act.

The initial complaint against MacDonald was filed by Barbara Linert of Eagan and Steve Timmer of Edina.

MacDonald being investigated by lawyers board because of her lawsuit

MacDonald is currently being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys.

The over 16-month investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility weeks after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The lawsuit filed by MacDonald against Missing in Minnesota was dismissed in March by a judge in Ramsey County. MacDonald is appealing the dismissal of the lawsuit.

Complaint alleges lawsuit filed by MacDonald was frivolous and violates an Order from Minnesota Supreme Court

The Minnesota Supreme Court suspended MacDonald’s law license for 60 days last year and she remains on probation for two years in response to an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald in August 2016.

The conditions of MacDonald’s two-year probation included that she will be supervised by an attorney appointed by the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

MacDonald is prohibited from engaging in “the solo practice of law,” and she must “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of another Minnesota licensed attorney.”

Complaint alleges MacDonald’s lawsuit contained false statements and she knowingly lied to the Eagan Police Department in making a false report

In her lawsuit, MacDonald claimed she filed a police report against Brodkorb on May 24 and June 11, 2018, regarding a booking photo published on Missing in Minnesota. MacDonald is suing in part over the publication of the booking photo from her arrest during a court hearing involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on September 12, 2013.

In response to a public data request, the Eagan Police Department provided a police report from May 24, 2018, but they could not find a report filed by MacDonald on  June 11, 2018.

According to the police report from May 24, 2018, provided by the Eagan Police Department, MacDonald told police that Brodkorb took a picture of MacDonald in public, doctored it to look like a mugshot and uploaded it to a mugshot website.

The Eagan Police Department investigated MacDonald’s claims and found them unfounded. The report states: “the photo turned out to be a valid public booking photo.” In fact on October 20, 2016, MacDonald testified under oath at her own deposition and acknowledged the existence of the booking photo that she falsely claimed to police Brodkorb created

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for updates on MacDonald’s latest campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Appeals court hears oral arguments on Thursday on MacDonald’s lawsuit

The Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Thursday about Michelle MacDonald’s appeal of the dismissal of her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Arguments will be heard at 10:05 AM in Courtroom 200 of the Minnesota Judicial Center.

In March, Ramsey County Judge Richard H. Kyle, Jr. granted the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota in October. Judge Kyle ruled MacDonald was a public figure and that the statements made by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota “were either true or lack the requisite showing of actual malice…”

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. MacDonald announced in July through an unrelated lawsuit that she “plans to run for office in 2020 and in the future.”

Click here to read the court filings related to MacDonald’s lawsuit.  Continue reading

15-month investigation by lawyers board into MacDonald continues

The investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys continues according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened over 15 months ago after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in response to MacDonald filing a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appeared to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The lawsuit filed by MacDonald against Missing in Minnesota was dismissed in March by a judge in Ramsey County. MacDonald is appealing the dismissal of the lawsuit.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

MN Supreme Court referee: ‘indefinitely’ suspend MacDonald’s lawyer

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court has recommended that Karlowba R. Adams Powell, who serves as Michelle MacDonald’s attorney in her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota, should be “indefinitely suspended” from the practice of law.

The recommendation by Judge Richard C. Perkins comes after a two-day hearing was held in July about a petition filed last December with the Minnesota Supreme Court by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

In the petition, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility requested a court order revoking Adams Powell’s probation, suspending her law license, or “imposing otherwise appropriate discipline…” based on “unprofessional conduct” by Adams Powell. The petition claimed Adams Powell made false statements to the court, and others, including staff with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, that she engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, that she failed to provide receipts for cash payments, and that she failed to “safeguard client funds.”

According to today’s court filing, this is the fourth disciplinary proceeding for “professional misconduct” involving Adams Powell.

Judge Perkins was blunt in describing Adams Powell’s lack of candor: “[w]hile a misstatement made only once may be a mistake, being stated in writing twice and the again under oath at a deposition demonstrates a disregard for the truth.”

In the final pages, Judge Perkins wrote that Adams Powell “refused to acknowledge her misconduct, exhibited no remorse for her misconduct, and failed to offer any evidence or assurance that she will not engage in similar future misconduct.” Judge Perkin’s added that “[i]n a case about candor to a court … [Adams Powell] displayed a lack of candor with this court during her own testimony.” Continue reading

MacDonald announces plans to run for office in 2020

Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children and is currently under investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, announced today – in a lawsuit – that she “plans to run for office in 2020 and in the future.”

The news about MacDonald’s intention to seek public office in 2020 was buried in a 379-page lawsuit by MacDonald and other Minnesota Republicans challenging the constitutionality of a Minnesota law regarding endorsements for public office.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. One week after losing her third campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court, MacDonald refused to rule out the possibility of running again in 2020 Continue reading

Yearlong investigation by lawyers board into MacDonald continues

The yearlong investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys continues according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened last year after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in response to MacDonald filing a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appeared to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The lawsuit filed by MacDonald against Missing in Minnesota was dismissed in March by a judge in Ramsey County. MacDonald is appealing the dismissal of the lawsuit.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

UPDATE: Grazzini-Rucki tried to stop college payments for her children

UPDATE (2:45 PM, Monday, July 8, 2019) – In a radio interview earlier today, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki denied she attempted to block her children from paying for their college education. Despite sending a letter to the courts requesting they “immediately stop” any payments from the trust for her children’s college expenses, Grazzini-Rucki said today “I was not blocking, I was only asking to be involved and know what was going on.”

Grazzini-Rucki also expressed frustrating that her letter to the court was made public. Continue reading

Another restraining order granted against Kimberley and Jay Bukstein

A judge in Washington County granted a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) against two supporters of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald for harassing an attorney for Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota.

Nathan Hansen filed for HRO against Kimberley Bukstein and her husband, Jay Bukstein, who reside together in St. Paul, Minnesota. Hansen has served as Brodkorb’s attorney regarding numerous HROs, including two filed against Kimberley and Jay Bukstein.

Kimberley Bukstein is a self-described “civil-rights advocate” who was fined $10,000 for the unauthorized practice of law in Ohio in 2013. Both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are also “qualified” Rule 114 ADR Neutrals for the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Buksteins are referenced in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

According to court documents, the Buksteins “excessively” contacted Hansen before and after Brodkorb was granted separate HROs against the Buksteins last month.

Respondents, Kimberley and Jay Bukstein have both excessively called my office both before the filing of Harassment Restraining Orders against them by my client, and since the time the Orders were granted. Phone calls have come at the rate of five per night at times. Respondent Kimberley Bukstein, on one occasion, began a flurry of voice messages by stating that she and her husband, Jay Bukstein, would be leaving a series of messages overnight. All of the messages from both Jay and Kimberley Bukstein are unnecessary, unwanted and harassing. These messages are not relevant to the case in which my client obtained Harassment Restraining Orders against Respondents. The cases regarding the Harassment Restraining Orders are now closed and have been since the Orders were granted one month ago.

Respondents began this pattern of harassment with emails. When I specifically instructed them to stop contacting me and blocked their emails, they not only persisted, but ramped up their contacts. Because I blocked their emails, I now receive multiple faxes at a time containing copies of emails they are attempting to send to me. These emails contain threats.

Similar to the harassment and threats made by the Buksteins to Brodkorb, Jay Bukstein “…stated in emails that his wife, Kimberley Bukstein would kill herself if the cases against them were not dismissed.”

Respondents Kimberley and Jay Bukstein have made threats to myself, my livelihood and my client. Respondent Jay Bukstein explicitly stated in emails that his wife, Kimberley Bukstein would kill herself if the cases against them were not dismissed. Ms. Bukstein herself made threats of suicide in emails as well including reference to Easter Sunday being a good day to die.

The court agreed and found that the Buksteins made both “harassing phone calls” and “threats” to Hansen. The HRO against the Buksteins remains in effect until May 1, 2021. Continue reading

Ten-month investigation by lawyers board into MacDonald continues

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility’s investigation into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys has entered its tenth month, according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The ten-month investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The lawsuit filed by MacDonald against Missing in Minnesota was dismissed last month by a judge in Ramsey County.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota dismissed

A judge in Ramsey County today dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Judge Richard H. Kyle, Jr. granted the motion for summary judgment filed by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota in October.

Judge Kyle ruled MacDonald was a public figure and that the statements made by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota “were either true or lack the requisite showing of actual malice…”

In an interview for Minnesota Lawyer, Brodkorb said the ruling from today from Judge Kyle was that further evidence that MacDonald’s lawsuit “should have never been filed in the first place.” Continue reading

Seven-month investigation by lawyers board into MacDonald continues

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility’s investigation into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys has entered its seventh month, according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The seven-month investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s lawyer facing additional discipline

Karlowba R. Adams Powell, who serves as Michelle MacDonald’s attorney in her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota, is facing new sanctions from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

As previously reported by Missing in Minnesota, Adams Powell’s law license was suspended last year for 45 days. As with MacDonald, Adams Powell is currently on probation for 2 years. Minnesota Lawyer was the first to report on the new petition filed against Adams Powell.

In the petition filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is requesting a court order revoking Adams Powell’s probation, suspending her law license, or “imposing otherwise appropriate discipline…” based on “unprofessional conduct” by Adams Powell. Continue reading

Allison Mann targeted with harassing and sexually obscene messages

A supporter of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald was contacted by law enforcement after targeting Allison Mann in recent days with harassing and sexually obscene messages.

Michael Volpe, a self-described “investigative journalist” based in Chicago, Illinois, was contacted by the Lakeville Police Department after Mann reported Volpe’s repeated, unwanted, and harassing communications.

Despite being instructed by Mann to cease all contact, Volpe continues to contact Mann with unwanted and harassing messages. In one email, Volpe admitted he was “harassing” Mann and requested to “make a deal” about Grazzini-Rucki.

Volpe has previously disseminated propaganda for Evavold, Grazzini-Rucki, and MacDonald masquerading as news. Many of Volpe’s stories published about Grazzini-Rucki have been retracted or corrected after being published due to factual inaccuracies contained in the stories.

Last December, Volpe participated in an interview with Grazzini-Rucki where she claimed a federal agent with the United States Marshals Service, posing as a plumber, had placed her in protective custody and she was living in a safe house in an undisclosed location.

Grazzini-Rucki was not in protective custody, but rather she was living in a waterfront estate community in FloridaContinue reading

Second printing ordered of ‘The Girls Are Gone’

Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann announced today that the second printing of their book, The Girls Are Gone, has been ordered.

Since being released last month, The Girls Are Gone has been a commercial and critical success. The Kindle Edition of The Girls Are Gone is currently listed on Amazon’s Hot New Releases for True Crime Biographies.

“It is exciting to see people not only reading the book but understanding the importance of this story,” said Allison Mann. “We have heard a lot of feedback from readers that have been shocked by the ability of some of the individuals involved to manipulate the legal system,” said Mann.

“It is encouraging to see the reach and impact we are having after only a month,” added Mann.

The Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing and was released on October 23, 2018. The book provides new details about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden. Continue reading

MacDonald isn’t ruling out run for Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020

Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children and is currently under investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, is not ruling out a fourth run for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020. Last week, MacDonald was defeated by Associate Justice Margaret Chutich in her third failed campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

News that MacDonald had not ruled out another run for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020 was first reported by Steve Timmer, who contacted MacDonald to inquire about her running again.

After losing her third statewide election, the news that MacDonald has not ruled out another run for the Minnesota Supreme Court is shocking.

While MacDonald did receive 825,779 votes last week, she is currently being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys. The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility was notified last month about MacDonald repeating the same allegations against Judge David Knutson that were described as “recklessly false” by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Continue reading