Posts tagged Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

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.

Evavold’s criminal trial scheduled for March

A judge in Dakota County scheduled Dede Evavold’s criminal trial for March 23, 2020, on a criminal charge of violating a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her by Michael Brodkorb. Evavold was charged in May after she attempted to contact Brodkorb for assistance in restarting her blog after WordPress suspended it for violating their terms of service.

Evavold’s criminal trial was scheduled during a hearing today at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota. An evidentiary hearing was also scheduled for February 28, 2020.

Brodkorb was granted an HRO against Evavold last year for her involvement in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online.

Michael and Sarah Brodkorb filed the HROs in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Evavold, who lives in St. Cloud.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters.

The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

Evavold requested a court hearing to challenge the granting of the HRO, but a judge later upheld the HRO ruling that Evavold “was involved in the chain of events that led to repeated harassment of [Sarah Brodkorb] and her minor children.”

The HRO against Evavold remains in place until November 19, 2020.

Evavold is currently on probation related to her criminal conviction in September 2016 of six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related to the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. A conviction in this criminal case would likely trigger a probation violation and jail time for Evavold. 

Accompanying Evavold to the courthouse again was Margaret Starry, who is a supporter of Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Before the hearing started, Starry was seen taking pictures of Brodkorb as he waited by the courtroom door. Evavold was overheard saying to Starry, “did you take a picture?” to which Starry responded, “yes.”

Court deputies and staff at the courthouse were made aware of the pictures that were taken near the courtroom. If and when the pictures appear online, follow-up steps will be taken by law enforcement. Continue reading

Evavold makes second court appearance on restraining order violation

Dede Evavold made her second court appearance involving a criminal charge of violating a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her in Dakota County by Michael Brodkorb. Evavold was charged in May after she attempted to contact Brodkorb for assistance in restarting her blog after WordPress suspended it for violating their terms of service.

During a brief court hearing at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota, Evavold requested a formal complaint be filed related to the criminal charge. The prosecutor agreed to have a formal complaint drafted within 30 days and a pre-trial hearing was scheduled for December 3, 2019. Evavold was arranged in July.

Brodkorb was granted an HRO against Evavold last year for her involvement in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online.

Michael and Sarah Brodkorb filed the HROs in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Evavold, who lives in St. Cloud.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters.

The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

Evavold requested a court hearing to challenge the granting of the HRO, but a judge later upheld the HRO ruling that Evavold “was involved in the chain of events that led to repeated harassment of [Sarah Brodkorb] and her minor children.”

The HRO against Evavold remains in place until November 19, 2020.

Evavold is currently on probation related to her criminal conviction in September 2016 of six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related to the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

In the courtroom yesterday with Evavold was Margaret Starry, who lives in Sartell, Minnesota. Starry is a supporter of Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. In January, Starry unsuccessfully tried to disrupt a book event in St. Cloud, Minnesota featuring Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

In response to a threating message on Twitter in July, Starry was instructed to stop attempting to make contact. Despite being instructed to stop making contact, Starry was actively attacking Brodkorb on social media in the days leading up to yesterday’s hearing and trying again to make contact. 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

Wednesday: ABC’s ’20/20′ episode about Grazzini-Rucki

Tomorrow, October 16, 2019, at 10 AM (CST), Investigative Discovery (ID) will be broadcasting the episode of ABC’s “20/20” discussed in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone.

The episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, called “Footprints in the Snow” was first broadcast on April 8, 2016, and was later rebroadcast on March 25, 2017. The episode has since been rebroadcast on multiple television networks over the last two years.

Grazzini-Rucki had tried to stop the rebroadcasts of the episode which found no documentation to verify Grazzini-Rucki’s claim that she was abused by David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki had taken to Facebook, calling the show “rank propaganda” and encouraging people to register complaints.

In April 2017, Grazzini-Rucki announced she would be filing a defamation lawsuit against ABC, Inc, ABC’s “20/20”, and Elizabeth Vargas, the co-anchor of “20/20”. Grazzini-Rucki claimed she would be seeking “an ungodly amount” of money in her latest lawsuit, but the lawsuit was never filed. Continue reading

Court grants 50-year restraining order against Dede Evavold

A judge in Dakota County granted a 50-year extension on the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Dede Evavold. The extension was granted at a hearing this morning at the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

The HRO against Evavold remains in effect until September 9, 2069.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home in Lakeville, Minnesota by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding. Continue reading

Bukstein pleads guilty to violating restraining order

Kimberley Bukstein pleaded guilty yesterday in court to violating a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her in Dakota County by Michael Brodkorb.

Brodkorb was granted separate HROs against Kimberley and her husband Jay Bukstein in March after they relentlessly harassed Brodkorb for the past year. Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are supporters of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald.

The Buksteins are referenced in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

Both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are also “qualified” Rule 114 ADR Neutrals for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Kimberley Bukstein was charged on May 30, 2019, with a misdemeanor for violating the HRO filed by Brodkorb. In a brief court appearance yesterday at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota, Bukstein pleaded guilty and was given one year of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $130. Bukstein was also 0rdered to have no contact with Brodkorb and remain law-abiding. Continue reading

Evavold appears in court on restraining order violation

Dede Evavold was arranged in court today on one criminal charge of violating a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her in Dakota County by Michael Brodkorb. Evavold was charged in May after she attempted to contact Michael Brodkorb for assistance in restarting her blog after WordPress suspended it for violating their terms of service.

During a hearing this morning at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota, Evavold did not enter a plea and a pre-trial hearing was scheduled for October 31, 2019. Evavold was not represented by an attorney at today’s hearing.

Brodkorb was granted an HRO against Evavold last year for her involvement in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online. 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

Tuesday: ABC’s ’20/20′ episode about Grazzini-Rucki

Tomorrow, July 9, 2019, at 8 AM (CST), Investigative Discovery (ID) will be broadcasting the episode of ABC’s “20/20” discussed in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone.

The episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, called “Footprints in the Snow” was first broadcast on April 8, 2016, and was later rebroadcast on March 25, 2017. The episode has since been rebroadcast on multiple television networks over the last two years.

Grazzini-Rucki had tried to stop the rebroadcasts of the episode which found no documentation to verify Grazzini-Rucki’s claim that she was abused by David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki had taken to Facebook, calling the show “rank propaganda” and encouraging people to register complaints.

In April 2017, Grazzini-Rucki announced she would be filing a defamation lawsuit against ABC, Inc, ABC’s “20/20”, and Elizabeth Vargas, the co-anchor of “20/20”. Grazzini-Rucki claimed she would be seeking “an ungodly amount” of money in her latest lawsuit, but the lawsuit was never filed. 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

Court: Grazzini-Rucki is ‘voluntarily unemployed’ and can pay child support

The Minnesota Court of Appeals released an opinion this week affirming previous court orders which determined that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is “voluntarily unemployed” and she can pay $215 per month to support her minor children. Grazzini-Rucki had appealed multiple court orders from 2018 involving the divorce proceedings with her ex-husband, David Rucki.

Grazzini-Rucki was convicted in 2016 on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters – Samantha and Gianna Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki hasn’t made any child support payments since 2015 to support her other minor children.

The opinion released Monday from the Minnesota Court of Appeals highlighted what other courts have documented: Grazzini-Rucki doesn’t follow court orders, she “wrongfully disseminating [David Rucki’s] financial information,” and she committed “fraud” in other court proceedings.

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

Wednesday: ABC’s ’20/20′ episode about Grazzini-Rucki

Tomorrow, April 24, 2019, at 9 AM (CST), Investigative Discovery (ID) will be broadcasting the episode of ABC’s “20/20” discussed in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone.

The episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, called “Footprints in the Snow” was first broadcast on April 8, 2016, and was later rebroadcast on March 25, 2017. The episode has since been rebroadcast on multiple television networks in the last two years.

Grazzini-Rucki had tried to stop the rebroadcasts of the episode which found no documentation to verify Grazzini-Rucki’s claim that she was abused by David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki had taken to Facebook, calling the show “rank propaganda” and encouraging people to register complaints.

In April 2017, Grazzini-Rucki announced she would be filing a defamation lawsuit against ABC, Inc, ABC’s “20/20”, and Elizabeth Vargas, the co-anchor of “20/20”. Grazzini-Rucki claimed she would be seeking “an ungodly amount” of money in her latest lawsuit, but the lawsuit was never filed. Continue reading