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Former Wayne County drug prosecutor begins jail sentence in perjury case

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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 02:49 PM
Original message
Former Wayne County drug prosecutor begins jail sentence in perjury case
http://www.freep.com/article/20110328/NEWS02/110328018/... |topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Former drug prosecutor Karen Plants begins jail sentence in perjury case
9:39 AM, Mar. 28, 2011
BY JOE SWICKARD
DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER


Once Wayne County's top drug prosecutor and now an admitted felon, Karen Plants left the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice this morning to begin serving a six-month sentence for engineering lies under oath to leverage a conviction in her biggest cocaine case and to cover up the star witness' secret role as a paid informant.

Assistant Attorney General William Rollstin said, "Ms. Plants was the hub of the wheel of the perjury."

He said there was fault to be found elsewhere, but she was the one gatekeeper" who could have stopped the lies.

He also said trying to hide the witness real role was "a fool's errand from the very beginning."

Plants, 48, was head of the Wayne County Prosecutor's major drug unit in 2005 when Inkster narcotics cops made a 47-kilo cocaine bust using Chad Povish as their informant. Before the case, Povish was a small-scale snitch, but, as he later testified, he hoped to get $100,000 for setting up the bust of Alex Aceval and Ricardo Pena.

In court, however, Povish was presented as some hapless sap who'd been tricked into driving the load of drugs when the cops swept down. One of the cops, Scott Rechtzigel, would later testify he didn't know Povish until after the arrest.

After that testimony, Plants went to the trial judge, Mary Waterstone, and in a secret meeting told her of the perjury. The meeting and the perjury were kept from the jury.

The perjury came to light when transcripts of secret meetings were found during Aceval's appeal.

Rechtzigel, who started a 90-day misdemeanor sentence last week in a plea deal, said he lied to protect Povish from retaliation by Mexican drug cartels. The other cop, Robert McArthur, also accepted a misdemeanor plea and will be formally sentenced in May.

more...
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's good. So what happened to the judge?
Is Judge Waterstone still on the bench? Why would perjury not be relevant to the trial? It sure was in OJ's case.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Retired Judge Waterstone rejects deal for alleged misconduct
Last Updated: March 10. 2011 1:00AM
Wayne briefs
Waterstone rejects deal for alleged misconduct
Detroit

A retired Wayne County Circuit judge rejected a plea deal Wednesday that called for her to spend 90 days in jail for allegedly allowing lies at a 2005 drug trial. Judge Timothy Kenny set a May 3 trial date for Mary Waterstone after a pretrial hearing in Wayne County Circuit Court. Last week, former Wayne County chief drug prosecutor Karen Plants and two Inkster Police officers pleaded guilty to reduced felony charges for telling lies in court. Officer Robert McArthur and Sgt. Scott Rechtzigel admitted filing false police reports and agreed to testify against Waterstone and Plants. Plants pleaded guilty to misconduct in office.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110310/METRO01/103100384/W...
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