Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Monday that she filed a motion to dismiss charges against two defendants and set aside the plea of another after an internal investigation into the cases handled by Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej.
Kolodziej resigned in September after it was revealed that he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a victim in a criminal sexual assault case while serving as the lead prosecutor for the case. Upon his resignation, Nessel called for an investigation into all of his criminal cases.
The investigation took nearly two months and involved interviews with 26 people, according to a statement from Nessel’s office.
Nessel said she originally planned on releasing the results of the investigation, but decided against it due to an ongoing investigation by law enforcement.
The attorney general filed a motion on Monday to dismiss charges against Larry Orr and his stepson Sean MacMaster, who had been charged with two counts of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a child under 13.
“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 in a statement.
She also spoke with the defense counsel for Ian Elliott, who pleaded no contest to one felony count of third degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Isabell County in early August. He is currently serving a sentence of up to 15 years. Nessel offered to concur in a defense motion to set aside his plea. The concurrence is not the same as a dismissal of charges, and his case will continue to progress.
“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.”
She added that a prosecutor has the “solemn responsibility” to ensure that people accused of a crime are given a fair trial, while still maintaining the rights of a victim.
“I hope that my actions here today are not viewed as a failure of our criminal justice system but — instead — a reflection of my commitment to the fundamental principles upon which it is based,” Nessel said.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]