Posts tagged Stephen Grigsby

Video shows MacDonald and Evavold partying at GOP State Convention

A recently uncovered video shows Michelle MacDonald partying with her then campaign chair and manager Dede Evavold at the 2014 Republican Party of Minnesota State Convention, during the time Evavold was actively concealing the whereabouts of two missing sisters.

At the time of this video, Evavold was working on MacDonald’s 2014 campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Last week, MacDonald filed again to run for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 on six counts of felony deprivation of parental rights involving the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

The girls’ mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, abducted her daughters during a divorce and custody dispute with her ex-husband, David Rucki.

Grazzini-Rucki was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

MacDonald served as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney and briefly represented her during her criminal trial.

In the video, Evavold is holding a half-empty glass of beer, and she tells MacDonald that they are campaigning on “truth.”

Evavold worked with MacDonald’s campaign for 540 of the 944 days the Rucki children were missing. Continue reading

Deja vu: Michelle MacDonald running again for Minnesota Supreme Court

Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children, filed to run again for the Minnesota Supreme Court, despite being on supervised probation as an attorney.

MacDonald filed to run against Justice Margaret Chutich, who was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Supreme Court in March 2016.

She first attempted to file to run for the Minnesota Supreme Court under a new political party but was denied because judicial elections are nonpartisan.

Justice Margaret Chutich

MacDonald previously ran twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

MacDonald’s law license was just “conditionally reinstated” by the Minnesota Supreme Court in March, subject to her completion of the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…”

She remains on supervised probation for two years with numerous conditions limiting her practice of law which could limit her ability to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court if elected.

The Associated Press reported that House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said “ugh” after MacDonald confirmed she was running for office again.

According to the most recent campaign finance reports, MacDonald had $31.70 in her campaign bank account and debts of $8,825.12.

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‘Homeless’ and ‘penniless’ Sandra Grazzini-Rucki signed a lease to live at Florida condominium

Despite repeated claims that she is “homeless” and “penniless”, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki signed a lease in March 2016 to live at a waterfront estate community in Clearwater, Florida, according to the owner of the condominium where she has been living.

Staff at the office which manages of the waterfront estate community also confirmed yesterday that Grazzini-Rucki was living in a condominium on the property and was seen by staff within the last month.

Missing in Minnesota published information in January based on public records which showed that a person named “Jaclyn Auld” with the same birthday as Grazzini-Rucki was residing with John “Jack” Auld in Clearwater, Florida.

After a warrant was issued for her arrest on March 26, 2018, Grazzini-Rucki turned herself in at approximately 9:00 PM the following evening at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office which is located just seven miles away from her home in Clearwater, Florida.

According to public court documents and staff at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Grazzini-Rucki falsely claimed she was homeless when being booked into custody.

Picture source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Picture source: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Over the last few days, Missing in Minnesota worked to provide additional evidence to refute claims made by Grazzini-Rucki and her attorneys and supporters that Grazzini-Rucki is homeless. Supporters of Grazzini-Rucki have gone so far as to claim that Grazzini-Rucki “relies on couch surfing” and eats “cold cans of Spaghetti-O’s in order to survive.”

In fact, yesterday morning while Missing in Minnesota was working to confirm additional details about Grazzini-Rucki’s lease for her condominium in Clearwater, Florida, a supporter of Grazzini-Rucki and self-described “investigative reporter” posted a blog story which falsely claimed she was “rendered homeless” and living “on the street” in Florida.

Michelle MacDonald claimed in an affidavit filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court last September that Grazzini-Rucki was “homeless.” MacDonald’s law license was suspended for 60 days in part for her misrepresenting facts while serving as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.

For nearly six years Grazzini-Rucki has falsely claimed she is homeless and destitute in an attempt to manipulate public opinion and the legal system.

In reality, Grazzini-Rucki had access to over $2 million from her family in the last eight years, and the total amount of her current net worth is unknown.

Grazzini-Rucki’s false claims of homelessness are part of a documented pattern of lies from Grazzini-Rucki, who admitted during her criminal trial that she had repeatedly been “dishonest” in previous court hearings.

But as Grazzini-Rucki sits in jail in Clearwater, Florida, awaiting transport back to Minnesota, further confirmation that she has not been “homeless” could have serious ramifications when Grazzini-Rucki eventually appears again in a courtroom in Dakota County. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald helped Dede Evavold in masking the extent of her role in the disappearance of Rucki sisters

Michelle MacDonald, who serves as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney, helped Dede Evavold during a media interview in masking the extent of her full role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki based on a video published by Evavold.

In the video published by Evavold last week, MacDonald instructs Evavold on how to correctly answer a question from the producer with ABC’s “20/20” after Evavold mistakenly admitted a key element of her criminal involvement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters in an interview.

This video was recorded before Evavold was charged with four additional felonies, and before she was convicted of a total of six felonies for her involvement in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Evavold served as MacDonald’s campaign chair and manager during MacDonald’s unsuccessful bid for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014.

MacDonald’s client, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The video provides further evidence of MacDonald’s direct involvement in the propaganda machinery of Grazzini-Rucki and Evavold. Continue reading

Oops: Another fake news story from Grazzini-Rucki supporter retracted

An online story published by a key supporter of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki which made false and misleading claims about jury tampering during Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial was taken down by the media outlet after being contacted by Missing in Minnesota about the inaccurate facts contained in the story.

The inaccurate story was published by Michael Volpe for Communities Digital News last Thursday, but the story was later edited with multiple corrections by Jacquie Kubin, President of Communities Digital News, and then republished. Continue reading

Lawyers Board: Michelle MacDonald’s ‘serious misconduct’ warrants suspension of her law license

Michelle MacDonald’s behavior during a family court hearing for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was described as “the ultimate dereliction of an attorney’s duty, and is unquestionably serious misconduct warranting suspension” in a brief filed by the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board involving the attorney complaint against MacDonald.

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended in January that MacDonald’s law license be suspended for a minimum of 60 days, followed by two years of probation, which would include a mental health evaluation.

The recommendation by Judge Heather Sweetland comes after a two-day hearing was held last November about an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald, who was a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

MacDonald is appealing the recommendation that her law license be suspended and the brief filed by Susan M. Humiston, Director of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Continue reading

Fake news used by Grazzini-Rucki and her allies to distort the truth

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her allies continue to use fake news and propaganda to distort the truth involving her criminal conviction. The latest example comes from Michael Volpe, who writes for Communities Digital News, and who also co-authored a book with Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney Michelle MacDonald about this case.

In a post published last Friday, Mr. Volpe repeated a false statement that David Rucki was present in the room with Samantha Rucki while she testified during her mother’s criminal trial last July.

The inaccurate claim that David Rucki and his sister, Dr. Tammy Love were in the room with Samantha when she testified has been continually used as a talking-point by supporters of Grazzini-Rucki since she was convicted for her role in the disappearance of her children.

Mr. Volpe is based in Chicago, Illinois and he disseminates Grazzini-Rucki’s propaganda masqueraded as news. He has never attended any of the court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the other adults charged and convicted for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. Mr. Volpe is frequently interviewed with Grazzini-Rucki on podcasts about her criminal case and family court drama.

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On This Date: Michelle MacDonald makes her first appearance in court for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Michelle MacDonald made her first appearance in family court on behalf of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on February 26, 2013. MacDonald’s work on behalf of Grazzini-Rucki created controversy and turmoil in court, and MacDonald’s law license may be suspended for her conduct while serving as Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney.

Minutes into the court hearing, the judge said “this is not the way that I expected to start off this hearing.”

According to court documents from February 23, 2013, MacDonald requested the court take a roll call to determine the names of everyone in the courtroom, including members of the public. The court documents also show that MacDonald repeatedly interrupted the court proceedings, with MacDonald later apologizing for comments she made during the court hearing. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald discloses law enforcement considered her a ‘suspect’

Michelle MacDonald has disclosed law enforcement considered her a “suspect” in the disappearance of the two sisters from Lakeville, according to a publication co-authored by MacDonald.

MacDonald serves as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.  Grazzini-Rucki was convicted last July on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

In the publication, MacDonald provides details on a phone conversation she had with Lieutenant Jason Polinski of the Lakeville Police Department. According to MacDonald, Polinski said she was no longer considered a suspect:

“Finally, he said I was no longer a suspect unless someone came in with evidence I participated in the girls’ disappearance and I appeared on early on with eighteen others.”  

MacDonald also admits in her publication that she “suspected the only evidence they have is that I’ve been Sandra’s attorney throughout her ordeal.”  Continue reading

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s dangerous quest

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki walked out of jail last October looking to pick a fight after she finished the first portion of her jail sentence for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

I doubt anyone believed Grazzini-Rucki was going to be reformed after serving just over 30 days in jail.

But even I was surprised, when hours after being released from jail, I found Grazzini-Rucki standing by my car as I left the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul. Grazzini-Rucki momentarily blocked my exit, as she stood behind my car as I attempted to back out of my parking spot. I stepped out of my car and asked her, “can I help you with something?” Grazzini-Rucki said no and she walked back to a waiting vehicle.

Since October, Grazzini-Rucki’s disdain for law enforcement and the court system has become more flagrant, her rhetoric more incendiary, and her behavior increasingly dangerous.

Grazzini-Rucki has started down a very dangerous road. She thrives off of chaos and the attention it brings. Not satisfied with the damage and pain she has already inflicted, Grazzini-Rucki is working to create more lawlessness in society. Continue reading

MN Supreme Court referee recommends suspension of Michelle MacDonald’s law license

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court has recommended that Michelle MacDonald’s law license be suspended for a minimum of 60 days, followed by two years of probation, which would include a mental health evaluation.

The recommendation by Judge Heather Sweetland comes after a two day hearing was held in November about an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald, who was a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016, and who also serves as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.

Below are the findings issued by Judge Sweetland regarding MacDonald.

Michelle MacDonald – Referee Findings Fact, Conclusion of Law, Recommendation for Discipline – January 03,… by Michael Brodkorb on Scribd

Attorney complaint against MacDonald alleged violation of rules governing attorney conduct

The 16-page petition for disciplinary action for violating of rules governing attorney conduct was filed against MacDonald by the Director of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, Susan M. Humiston

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Sandra Grazzini-Rucki released from jail

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was released from jail on Monday after being held in custody since early November for multiple probation violations.

At a court hearing at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Judge Karen Asphaug again determined that Grazzini-Rucki had violated her probation since being released from jail in October.

Judge Asphaug placed Grazzini-Rucki on “court-supervised probation” because Grazzini-Rucki repeatedly refused to provide Dakota County Community Corrections (DCCC) with a verifiable address and she would not comply with GPS monitoring.

DCCC will no longer supervise Grazzini-Rucki except to determine whether Grazzini-Rucki has completed her required 12 days of Sentencing of Service for the next six years.

Starting in 2017, Grazzini-Rucki will begin serving 15 days in jail on November 18 – the anniversary of the day her daughters were found – for the next six years.

In July, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The sisters ran from their home on April 19, 2013 during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

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Another arrest warrant issued for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

For the second time this month, a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki for violating conditions of her probation.

Earlier this week, Grazzini-Rucki was ordered to provide the Dakota County Community Corrections (DCCC) with her residential address and wear a GPS monitor until DCCC was able to verify her residential address.

But Grazzini-Rucki is physically refusing to allow a GPS monitor to be attached to her leg and she will not provide DCCC with her current residential address.

A warrant was issued for Grazzini-Rucki’s arrest yesterday and a probation violation hearing has been scheduled for next Monday at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings.

In July, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The sisters ran from their home on April 19, 2013 during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

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Court again denies Grazzini-Rucki’s request to execute sentence

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki appeared in court today at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings today for a hearing about her alleged probation violation.

Grazzini-Rucki has been jail since last week after a warrant was issued for her arrest because she allegedly failed to “maintain contact with probation” and she failed “to notify probation within 72 hours of any change in address, employment, and phone number.”

At the hearing today, Grazzini-Rucki made another request to Judge Karen Asphaug to execute her sentence by continuing to remain in jail, rather than serving probation. Grazzini-Rucki is now being represented by a public defender, as her criminal defense attorney, Stephen Grigsby, withdrew as her attorney last month.

Judge Asphaug denied Grazzini-Rucki’s request to execute her sentence, as she did at a hearing in October.

Throughout the brief hearing, Grazzini-Rucki acted inappropriately in court.

Grazzini-Rucki smiled and giggled during the proceedings, especially after Judge Asphaug denied her request to execute her sentence.  The judge also instructed Grazzini-Rucki to pay attention to the proceedings, as Grazzini-Rucki kept looking into the gallery of the courtroom at two of her supporters.

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Sandra Grazzini-Rucki back in jail for violating probation

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is back in jail, as she surrendered to authorities in Washington County last evening after a warrant was issued for her arrest yesterday for violating her probation. 

Court staff in Washington County confirmed Grazzini-Rucki was in custody, but she was not scheduled to appear in front of a judge today. Grazzini-Rucki has since been transferred from Washington County to the supervision of Dakota County.

According to court documents filed in Dakota County, an arrest warrant was issued for Grazzini-Rucki because she failed to “maintain contact with probation” and she failed “to notify probation within 72 hours of any change in address, employment, and phone number.”

In July, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The sisters ran from their home on April 19, 2013 during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

Continue reading