Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper Sammy Seymour (Cadillac post) is at it again, allegedly involved in another episode of domestic violence and having it swept under the rug until it was uncovered by the Mason County Press.  They report the following on May 6th, nearly three weeks after the arrest and arraignment of Trooper Seymour in an incident that appears to have happened on North Gaylord at the house of the alleged victim.  One has to believe that Editor Alway noticed Seymour's conference in the day's docket and looked the name up through court records.

As the arrest was made by LPD Officer Austin Mendez, the MCP was first frustrated by having their FOIA request for the incident report denied by Ludington City Attorney Hammersley, presumptively under the direction of the acting Mason County Prosecutor Beth Hand (Prosecutor Lauren Kreinbrink, retiring at the end of the month, has ignored Ludington Torch emails to her sent over the last two weeks over an unrelated topic).  In an update, the prosecutor allowed release of the records after May 7 to the MCP who has yet to share them (We have our own FOIA request as of yet unfulfilled).

The MCP article errs by relating two past incidents with Seymour and the local justice system when both were related to the same January 2015 incident where he tested as legally DUI in driving his vehicle from James Street to his sister's house on Pine Street.  A jury trial for the DUI charge had a mistrial and Seymour would have his career saved by plea dealing out to driving an ORV while intoxicated, which has laxer penalties than driving drunk in a Jetta in downtown Ludington. 

What the MCP leaves out is an incident from 2013 where Seymour made threats against another woman, her parents and county deputies, in a bizarre series of encounters related here.  As the Ludington Torch noted in its report on this incident, Trooper Seymour was given a free pass on his acts:

"If Trooper Sammy was just Sammy, a cheating husband with access to plenty of guns who threatened a shootout with deputies if his wife brought them along to assure her safety, do you think he may have been treated differently? 

If regular Sammy was trying to break into his wife's parent's house making them also call 9-1-1, would Sammy have been treated differently?   Do you think they might check into the alleged assault regular Sammy was reported to have done with the chest bump?   Do you think they would give regular Sammy a pass on his implied threat on his wife's van?"

This is the type of person who has frequently shown that he has not the temperament for the stress that comes with being a state trooper.  The mug shot shows a man who seems to be under the influence of something and according to some sources it may be stronger than the alcohol he consumed back in 2015.  But this is Trooper Sammy, and so he gets special protections from our local justice system.  In 2015, it was a prosecutor that put him into an ORV, in 2013, it was deputies that looked the other way when another woman, her parents, and even themselves were threatened with assault or actually assaulted. 

This time around, it appears that the county prosecutor is coddling him and protecting his actions from disclosure.  If this was Sammy the sandwich maker at the local deli, do you think the name would have been hidden from the media for three weeks?  Prosecutor candidate Beth Hand (shown below) not only kept Seymour's name to herself, she also initially advised the LPD to keep public records from being released to the people in this particular instance, until she was challenged about the legality of it.  

This is the same Beth Hand who went to the two April meetings of the Ludington City Council and introduced herself as the most capable and fair person for the job opening of county prosecutor.  But when the MCP and other local media who regularly publish local arraignments for lesser crimes than DV by community members cannot trust her to put out the names of members of a special 'protected class' like law enforcement officers, can we expect her to fairly and objectively prosecute them?  The day after Ms. Hand arraigned Trooper Seymour in secrecy that would last three weeks, she received affirmation of her contested campaign by the Fraternal Oder of Police in Michigan:

 

When a prosecutor receives such a high honor from police across the state, you don't want the news to come out that you are conducting a high-profile prosecution of a seasoned state trooper for an offense which seems to happen to a lot of law enforcement officers.  You might even want to take the extraordinary measure of telling the arresting agency not to give out police incident reports regarding the trooper arrest because you want to have total control over the information.  

Trooper Sammy Seymour deserves the right to be presumed innocent, but the people deserve the right to be fully informed as to what happened, and the people deserve the affirmation that the county prosecutor will treat the trooper as if he was a normal guy charged with a bad crime.  Hiding the release of the arraignment and trying to do the same with the police reports is not a good start on the latter.  

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Miss Hand and Mr Miller, the two candidates for the upcoming position of Mason County prosecutor, made their presents known at the monthly GOP meeting last night, 5/7/24. They were asked about their run for the office and what they stood for. From my perspective, the answer Miss Hand gave, sounded to me as if she just likes to argue. Mr. Miller, on the other hand, sounded as if his campaigning centers around streamlining the system, to prosecute and take care of the backlog. Neither canadate, at anytime, gave me the impression of the Constitutional duties that come with the office. When it was my turn in public comments, I stated I would like to see more references to how they would rule Constitutionally.

I would like to see more of Mr. Miller's caseload as assistant prosecutor up in Manistee County before judging his qualifications, but Beth Hand's "hand"-iwork I've already seen in action in several cases where the prosecutor's office was totally deaf to civil rights concerns and totally dumb to improper police actions and outright perjury by officers while on the stand.  If you look up her name as it relates to some SE Michigan drug cases when she was assistant prosecutor down that way, you won't be very impressed either by her methodology.

The remaining candidate, Becky Lederer, will have to prove she has the skill set to be a good prosecutor.  She's a marginal public defender and will have a hard time appealing to those who want a strong/assertive presence in the role of prosecuting attorney.  Nevertheless, she would be my choice at this point in time, because I think the prosecuting attorney's office has gone over the line and encouraged bad police work during the last three prosecutors' terms.

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