Former Inkster cop sentenced in drug perjury scandal

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  Joe Swickard reporting        No. of views: 882
  In an emotional 45-minute appearance, former Inkster narcotics cop Scott Rechtzigel was sentenced this morning to 90 days in jail for his role in a drug perjury scandal.

Presiding Judge Timothy Kenny told Rechtzigel that the public and jurors must have confidence that those “who enforce the law will be following the law.”

In a plea deal with the Michigan Attorney General’s office, Rechtzigel, 40, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, neglect of duty for lying under oath in a 2005 cocaine trial.

Kenny rejected the original plea deal that called for no time in jail and no probation. Rechtzigel is approved for work release.

Rechtzigel said he lied to protect a paid undercover informant from being exposed to potentially fatal retaliation from Mexican drug cartels.

Kenny said he recognized that Rechtzigel and his partners fought against, “dangerous and evil people … but even when we are dealing with evil and dangerous people, we have to follow the rules.”

Rechtzigel told the judge, “I’ve never denied my actions or decisions.” He added, “I’m sorry those decisions hurt anyone, everyone who is involved in this case.”

Rechtzigel’s fellow Inkster cop Robert McArthur; Karen Plants, Wayne County’s former top drug prosecutor; and retired judge Mary Waterstone, were all charged with felonies for the perjury and allowing the case to go before a jury.

McArthur and Plants have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and Waterstone is set to go on trial in May on a charge of official misconduct.

Defense attorney David Griem said the plea deal authored by the attorney general’s office was an admission that the case had been overcharged. He said the only positive thing to come out of this case was the seizure of the 47 kilos of cocaine off the street.

Griem also said that Rechtzigel believed questions about the informant’s identity were off limits, and that he was “blindsided” by questioning that went unchallenged by Plants and Waterstone.

Assistant Attorney General William Rollstin said he understood the concern for the informant, but perjury is not the answer. He said that the case “has scarred our system, it scarred what we do. You can’t lie, you just can’t do it.”

Rollstin said that in order to protect their secret witness, the cops could have instead dismissed the case while having seized the drugs, or they could have turned the case over to federal authorities who have more resources to protect witnesses.
  Appeared here
  Filed Under: Conspiracy/cover up, Dereliction of Duty, Evidence/witness tampering, In Jail!/fired Cop, Lying/FRAUD, mis-conduct POLICE/Sheriff/FED, Perjury/suborning/false stmnts
Related Stories
The Detroit News 03/22/2012 Board disbars ex-prosecutor Karen Plants
Detroit Free Press 03/10/2011 Retired judge Waterstone rejects plea deal in perjury-tainted cocaine trial case
The Detroit News 03/02/2011 Wayne County's former chief drug prosecutor pleads guilty to misconduct
The Detroit News 03/01/2011 Inkster cop's plea deal avoids felony
Detroit Free Press 02/11/2011 Retired Judge Waterstone granted separate trial in perjury case
Detroit Free Press 01/15/2011 Judge to make decision on perjury trials
Detroit Free Press 10/13/2010 Former judge, cops ordered to stand trial for perjury-tainted case
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