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.
.@forMNjustice did get a higher percentage of the vote (not more raw votes because more votes were cast in the gubernatorial race) than Jeff Johnson did in 2014 and 2018.
— Steve Timmer (@stevetimmer) November 8, 2018
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.
The Minnesota Supreme Court suspended MacDonald’s law license for 60 days earlier this year and she remains on probation for two years in response to an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald in August 2016. The complaint filed against MacDonald focused on her behavior during family court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her legal representation of Joseph Francis D’Costa.
It was during the custody hearing involving Grazzini-Rucki and her ex-husband, David Rucki, on September 12, 2013, that MacDonald took pictures in the courtroom which led to her being arrested.
MacDonald spent a portion of the trial representing Grazzini-Rucki while confined to a wheelchair after her refusal to walk back into the courtroom. MacDonald also refused to put on her shoes and glasses, or provide her legal name and address to law enforcement.
MacDonald’s direct responsibility for her conduct which led to her arrest was repeatedly mentioned in the order from the Minnesota Supreme Court.
If the outcome of the current investigation into MacDonald were to cause her to lose her law license again, MacDonald could be precluded from running for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020. Under state law, only licensed attorneys meet the legal qualification to run for judge in Minnesota.
MacDonald’s legal work examined in a new book
MacDonald was labeled in April 2015 as a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. MacDonald refused to cooperate with the Lakeville Police Department’s investigation into her possible involvement in the disappearance of the sisters – even after public statements from her that she would cooperate in the investigation. Her criminal defense attorney, Stephen Grigsby, said in 2015 that he would advise MacDonald to not speak with the Lakeville Police Department.
An examination of MacDonald’s legal work is included in the new book, The Girls Are Gone. 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.
Allison Mann contributed to this story.