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Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Changes in prosecutor's office

You might be hearing less about crimes being charged in Oakland
County, after word reached us at The Oakland Press that Prosecutor-
elect Jessica Cooper has ordered all staff to refrain from talking to
the media about their cases.
All media contacts must go through the top dog in the office, Cooper,
a one-time circuit judge in Oakland County who moved onto the Court
of Appeals before stepping down into partisan politics.
Too bad.
Outgoing Prosecutor David Gorcyca had his critics, mostly for a
stubborn streak he carried in how he handled his cases. But I always
admired that he trusted his staff, which consists of some of the best
criminal attorneys in the area. Prosecutors were able to speak openly
about their cases, describing facts that were already on the record
and helping reporters with schedule changes and issues related to
when something would occur.
We write many stories about crimes in Oakland County, and when
questions arise as to why specific charges were filed (or amended or
dismissed), it's good to be able to speak to the person who knows the
case.
Now, even Gorcyca preferred to be the one talking about major cases,
where controversy lurked. That is natural; let the leader handle the
controversies. Cooper is walking into one, as a 16-year-old boy faces
charges of murder in the shooting death of an Oak Park police
officer. The elected leaders should be the ones in the spotlight for
those questions. But the prosecutor's office handles thousands of
cases each year, most of them minor and rarely making their way to
the top floor.
In telling stories related to these cases, we require details and
accuracy, and when I covered courts, I achieved that by having my
questions answered by the people who know the cases.
An assistant prosecutor can answer why a plea was negotiated, when
the straight from-the-courtroom facts may make it look like they
weren't being tough on crime. An assistant can also put a case into
perspective.
During a trial, an assistant prosecutor can answer questions about an
attack a defense attorney makes on a witness, evidence or the police.
Now all these specifics must be answered by Cooper, who will know
only the basics and not be able to address specific questions without
calling the assistant to ask. That means more work for the assistant
and less details for the public.
It also opens up the office to more criticism, as defense attorneys
or families of defendants can take shots at the prosecutors with a
good chance of no reaction by the prosecutors. If Cooper returns a
call the next day, there's the possibility the story has already run.
There also is a sense that Cooper lacks confidence in the office she
will run. Furthermore, this mandate brings a veil of secrecy over
what should be open and transparent, the prosecution of crimes by a
public tax-funded agency.
Let's hope it's a short-term change from what was once one of the
most open offices in the county.
They are going through enough changes already, as a dozen prosecutors
have been reportedly relieved of their duties by Cooper.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could anything be worse than how Gorcyca ran the PA office? Gorcyca never found an attorney who he felt deserved to be charged with a criminal act. It is known over 600 attorney should of had criminal charges, some exceedingly serious filed during Gorcycas 12 years running his "good old boys get special treatment" network.

Under Gorcyca the law was a joke. He did what he wanted and the people who he harmed were scorned as beneath him as constitutional rights were ignored nearly daily.

If Cooper has an ounce of humanity then the PA office is in better off without those PAs she let go. If there is justice in Oakland County then Gorcyca will shortly have federal criminal charges filed against him.

December 30, 2008 at 4:29 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just some peculiar coincidences.

At the Michigan Supreme Court Public Hearing in Sept 2007, two scammed clients of Attorney Paul Nicoletti, (who formerly clerked for Judge Hilda Gage at Oakland Circuit when Jessica Cooper was also on the bench) brought to the attention of the Michigan Supreme Court Justices how appeals regarding Nicoletti’s cases just happened to be assigned to Judges Hilda Gage and Jessica Cooper and where these victims of judicial abuses documented Constitutional Rights violations. Then within 4 months, Hilda Gage announced her retirement, and then a few months later, Jessica Cooper retired 7 years prior to her term ending.

Now for the “rest of the story”

http://courthouseforum.com/forums/thread.php?id=974385

http://courthouseforum.com/forums/thread.php?id=1043068

ENJOY

December 30, 2008 at 5:58 PM 
Blogger P. McCarthy said...

Dear Mr. Frye,

You obviously do not know these people when you say Oakland County Prosecutors openly talk facts about a case but then refuse to answer any discovery even when ordered by the court. The only facts they talk about are Dean and Gorcyca’s lies like having a “Lion King” video makes you a pedophile.

Cooper is and always has been an imbecile, just listen to any attorney in her courtroom when she’s not on the bench.

It’s a new day Mr. Frye, and corrupt, dishonest and criminal lawyers, judges and police will be prosecuted by Cooper or she will defend suit in their place and for starters if Cooper does not arrest and prosecute Milford Police Chief Wayne Walli and Lt. Thomas Callahan for criminal assault she will defend suit herself.

December 30, 2008 at 6:11 PM 

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