Nessel drops charges in case due to former assistant AG’s actions

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    After two months and 26 interviews, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Monday that her office will dismiss charges against two defendants after its investigation into former Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej’s conduct.

    In September, Nessel learned that the Michigan State Police was investigating an alleged inappropriate relationship between Kolodziej and one of the victims in a sexual assault case against former Central Michigan University student Ian Elliott. Kolodziej had served as the lead prosecutor on the case.

    Kolodziej was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 5 and resigned the following day, Nessel confirmed at a press conference on Sept. 10.

    Nessel ‘horrified and disgusted’ by assistant AG who resigned after alleged relationship with victim

    After his resignation, Nessel’s office conducted an internal investigation into all of Kolodziej’s previous cases to ensure that no other instances of misconduct were found.

    The motion Nessel filed Monday dismissed charges against Larry Orr and his stepson, Sean MacMaster, who had both been charged in Oakland County with criminal sexual conduct with a child under 13 years of age.

    “I am compelled to dismiss the charges in this case following the information we received regarding Mr. Kolodziej’s prosecutorial conduct, which are tantamount to serious violations of our prosecutorial standards,” Nessel said.

    Ian Elliott | OTIS photo

    According to the press release, Nessel also spoke with Elliott’s defense attorney, who had pleaded no contest to one count of third-degree criminal sexual assault and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on Aug. 2. Nessel offered to concur in a defense motion to set aside Elliott’s plea.

    “We are committed to doing everything we can to address the issues caused by Mr. Kolodziej’s employment as an assistant attorney general,” Nessel said. “… In the end, today does not reflect the truthfulness of the victims in these cases but rather the consequence of a prosecutor who failed in his sacred duty to properly administer justice in our legal system.”

    It remains unclear who Kolodziej allegedly had improper relations with, whether that relationship was consensual, and other details surrounding the nature of the case.

    mennan williams
    Attorney General building, March 22, 2019 | Susan J. Demas

    Nessel noted that she “had every intention” to publicly release the investigative reports, but her ethics officer had advised against it, since there are still ongoing investigations into Kolodziej’s actions by other law enforcement agencies.

    Kolodziej was first hired by former Attorney General Bill Schuette in 2018. Schuette was termed out of office that year and Nessel won the election to replace him last November.

    Laina G. Stebbins
    Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, civil rights, health care/safety net and criminal justice. She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or listening to podcasts, she loves art and design, discovering new music, being out in nature and spending time with her two very special cats.