Fight For Justice

On the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Reservation

April 1996

Read from the bottom Up

April 30, 1996
In a letter from the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission to Joseph P. O'Leary.

It stated:

"The complaint of Jerry Curtis was filed with the attorney grievance commission on Jan. 4, 1996 alleging improper conduct on your part.

The undersigned investigated this matter by carefully reviewing all statements and documention submitted by the parties. The results of the investigation, along with a recommendation, were submitted to the commissioners for their review and decision.

The attorney grievance commission determined that the evidence reviewed did not warrant further action by the commission. Therefore, pursuant to MCR 9.114(A), the commission directed that this request for investigation be dismissed.

While this file is being closed, the commission wishes to caution you regarding a lawyer's duty to explain matters to a client to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions. Your knowledge regarding President Dakota's interest in the gaming machines should have been conveyed to your client. The commission directs your attention to Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4 (b) and trusts that you share its concerns in this regard."

The commission found him guilty, but wont do anything to him.

April, 1996
Iron County Sheriff Robert Remondini told FFJ attorney Alan Clark that his jail will no longer take KBIC prisoners.

April 20, 1996
In the early morning hours, several employees of Peter Morin's Guardian Angels Security Company (this company is in no way related to the nation organization of Guardian Angels) threw what appeared to be some kind of exploding device at the Tribal center on US-41 where members of FFJ (which include men, women and children) live, exploded with around 10 loud popping sounds. KBIC Police have in custody the remains of this device.

April 18, 1996
KBIC Tribal Prosecuting Attorney and Tribal Attorney James Bittorf (James is Joseph O'Leary's brother-in-law) told Tribal Police that he is resigning as the Tribe's last prosecuting attorney, but will remain as the Tribe's attorney. So now there is no long any Tribal prosecuting attorneys. Fred's power base seems to be deserting him.

April 17, 1996
KBIC Tribal Prosecuting Attorney and head Tribal Attorney Joseph O'Leary said today that he is resigning as the Tribe's prosecuting attorney, but will remain as the Tribe's attorney. Sources have seen resumes that O'Leary is mailing out, so apparently he is looking for another job elsewhere. The same source was told by Mr. O'Leary that he will no longer sign anymore bogus warrants on FFJ members.

April 15, 1996
KBIC Tribal Police Commissioner Frank Serafini (Frank is originally from Florida, he is married to Jerry Melko's daughter) resigned as KBIC's Police Commissioner today. This took place after a unannounced/secret Tribal council meeting where Fred Dakota and his supporter wanted the Tribal Police to raid the Tribal center where the FFJ member are and arrest them.

April 2, 1996
The following excerpts were taken from the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette
Written by Heather Karttunen

County Jails told 'Take NO Tribal Prisoners'

... In a letter Mark Wisti of the law offices of Wisti & Jaaskelainen P.C. wrote to the Sheriffs of Marquette, Iron, Ontonagon, & Houghton Counties, "I am writing as a taxpayer who has a grave concern that Ontonagon, Houghton, Marquette and Iron Counties and/or their respective sheriffs may have legal actions brought against them in regard to incarceration of inmates who have been placed into prison by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community for their political activities."

Whisti explained, "Federal law prohibits you from incarcerating someone without probable cause. Federal law particularly takes a dim view of individuals who have been incarcerated for political activity."

Houghton County Sheriff Gary Beauchamp told the Gazette this morning he has decided not to accept prisoners from the tribe for now.

Ontonagon County Sheriff Gerald Kitzman said he is awaiting word from Prosecuting Attorney Beth Paczesny.

"I certainly wouldn't want to do anything wrong, so I turned that over to her," Kitzman said.

Iron County Sheriff Robert Remondini also asked for review of the letter, by his county's prosecuting attorney, Johnathan Baker. Meanwhile, Iron county will still accept KBIC prisoners.

The Gazette was unable to reach Marquette County Sheriff Joseph Maino for his response.

When asked why he represents tribal dissidents free of charge Wisti answered, "I think they're getting screwed, to put it in lay men's terms."

Tribal police this morning declined to reveal the exact number of dissident arrests. Fight for Justice estimates 20.

To read a brief summary of FFJ and it's begining read Tina Lam's Detorit Free Press article

Copyright 2001 by Rose Edwards. All Rights Reserved.