Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monitor that community service

Todd Walker was sentenced yesterday to 100 hours of community service for stealing $5,800 from a charitable organization, the Romeo Lions Club. He was the clubhouse groundskeeper entrusted with a fair amount of discretion. The judge ordered the 39-year-old to also serve 18 months probation and pay restitution, which he did.
Walker won't complete any of his community service with his organization.
I hope whatever group is the recipient of his community service is told about his past by his probation officer. Make sure he is serving the community and not helping himself.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can't get used to the new 'Metro'

I don't think I'll ever get accustomed to calling the former Metro Beach Metropark in Harrison Township by it's new name, Lake St. Clair Metropark.
It was so easy for so many years to simply refer to the park as "Metro" -- "We're goin' to Metro."
Now there's no simple reference. You can't say, "I'm going to 'Lake.' " What lake? And saying the full name takes too long. Maybe the easy reference will become "Lake Park." I don't know. It still isn't the same. I would ask, "What lake park?" There's so many lakes and parks in SE Michigan.
I understand the new name is good because it clarifies for outsiders (tourists) that "Metro" sits on the shores of Lake St. Clair, almost the sixth Great Lake. But maybe they could've named it "Shoreline" or, stealing from the mall, "Lakeside" (The mall should change its name. It's 10 miles away for goodness sake).
I already miss "Metro" like I've been missing Pine Knob and Tiger Stadium.
Next I hope they're not thinking of changing Metro Parkway to Lake St. Clair Parkway.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Old 'teammates' to meet in courtroom

Steven Kaplan and Joe Arnone worked together in the mid-2000s as assistant prosecuting attorney under Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.
Now they’ll be working against each other in a Detroit courtroom.
Arnone, who moved to criminal defense and practices out of St. Clair Shores, is representing Shelby Township resident David Lamberson against a second-degree murder charge for driving drunk and killing two Eastpointe children in a crash in Detroit.
Kaplan, an assistant prosecutor in Wayne County, will try to convict Lamberson.
When they worked together in the mid-2000s, Arnone was a young up and coming lawyer, but he stayed in the prosecutor's office for only about a year. Meanwhile, Kaplan was a seasoned vet who worked there a darn-near quarter century and handled some of the highest profile and serious cases in the county.
Kaplan will bring a ton of experience in the case against Lamberson. A second-degree murder charge against a drunken driver is unusual, but Kaplan has done it  before. He handled one of the first cases of its kind in the state and the first case in Macomb County many years ago, and several other similar cases over the years. For 2nd-degree murder to be warranted, the defendant’s actions have to be so grossly negligent that prosecutors believe a 15-year felony is insufficient punishment.
For his part, Arnone has become a seasoned criminal defense attorney and has handled several major cases.
I don’t think he will let up against a talented younger former colleague.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kriger brings new style to Bashara case

You can immediately detect the new style for Bob Bashara's new defense attorney, Mark Kriger. Kriger in his first appearance as Bashara's lawyer declined to comment today following his client's arraignment in Wayne County Circuit Court, adding he doesn't comment on a pending case.
That's certainly a different tact than taken by Bashara's prior attorney, David Griem, who talked to the press as much as journalists were willing to listen while his client was investigated for his wife's murder and than charged with plotting to kill Joe Gentz, a potential witness against him for Jane Bashara's murder last January at her Grosse Pointe Park home.
Griem's antics rub some legal observers the wrong way.  But Griem would argue that he was forced into mounting a verbal counter-attack to combat all the harmful information in media reports about his client over the weeks and months following his wife's murder, via police leaks.
Kriger's style provides a glimpse into why Bashara no longer wanted Griem as his attorney. I have no inside knowledge, but I think Bashara probably believed that Griem did a good job taking him through the early stages of his defense but now he needs a lawyer who works more out of the limelight.
Kriger is an extremely experience attorney with a great reputation. He and his partner represented Carl Marlinga, who was acquitted of campaign-related charges a half-dozen years ago in a federal trial.
Kriger today also didn't do something that Griem predicted he would do -- ask for a new preliminary examination at 36th District Court in Detroit.
I agreed with Griem that Bashara's new attorney would seek a new prelim because the district court judge refused to allow Griem to withdraw from the case for the probable cause hearing.
Although Kriger could still ask the new judge to remand the case back to district for a second prelim, I don't think he will now. Another prelim would allow Wayne County prosecutors to publicize their case against Bashara a second time and probably wouldn't give Kriger anything new. Kriger may have attacked the prosecution's witness a different way, but I don't think a second chance at him would be worth the negative publicity that could further taint potential jurors.