Sunday, February 28, 2016

Prosecutorial Misconduct: When the Good Guys are the Bad Guys

Numerous national studies have shown the U.S. has a serious and unchecked problem with prosecutorial misconduct; instances where prosecutors and district attorneys ignore evidence, or worse, present fabricated evidence and look the other way at witness perjury, all for the sake of winning a conviction. The New York Times has labeled the problem “rampant.’ There are plenty of reasons to question whether prosecutorial misconduct is at work in the life prison sentence of Richard J. Wershe, Jr.

Innocent until proven guilty. That’s a quaint concept of law. We like to kid ourselves it is the bedrock of criminal prosecution in this country. In truth, prosecutors faced with a roaring river of criminal cases large and small, believe just the opposite. Once charges are filed the prosecution assumes the defendant must be guilty and far too many are willing to suppress evidence or testimony which may show otherwise. When you’re up to your ass in alligators it’s hard to remember your original objective was to the drain the swamp, blah, blah, blah.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brady-v-Maryland, a 1963 case, that prosecutors must provide the defense with any exculpatory evidence (evidence favorable to the defense version of the case) that could materially affect a verdict or sentence. In other words, if investigators find evidence or witnesses who may cast doubt on the guilt of the defendant, the prosecution is bound by law to turn it over to the defense which may use it to challenge the prosecution’s case.

In 2014 Alex Kozinski, the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (California and several western states), issued a harsh indictment of prosecutorial failure to follow the Supreme Court ruling regarding "Brady" material.

“There is an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land,” Judge Kozinski wrote in dissent in a criminal case up for appeal. “Only judges can put a stop to it.” Unfortunately, most judges don’t put a stop to it. Sometimes the judge is part of the problem.

Exhibit A is the Wayne County, Michigan Prosecutor’s office in a narcotics case eerily similar to the Rick Wershe case.

Former Assistant Prosecutor Karen Plants and former Wayne County Circuit judge, the late Mary Waterstone. They were caught in a scheme to use perjured testimony to gain convictions in a big drug case. 

Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s former top drug prosecutor, Karen Plants, pleaded guilty to misconduct in office and was sentenced to six months in jail in a suburban Inkster drug case. Plants admitted she allowed an informant and two police officers to lie at a 2005 trial about a 103-pound cocaine seizure. She said it was to protect the informant’s safety but she conceded in 2006 that "allowing false statements is wrong."

There’s more.

The Wayne County judge on the case, Mary Waterstone, privately agreed with Assistant Prosecutor Plants to conceal the identity of the paid police informant in the cocaine case and to allow the police officers to lie—commit perjury—a felony, when they testified in court. In other words, the judge was in on deceiving the defense attorneys in the case. Waterstone was charged with four felonies but the cases against her were tossed by the Michigan Court of Appeals. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 74.

There’s more.

The scheme for how to pull this off, according to the judge, came from Timothy Baughman, the head of the appeals unit of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Timothy Baughman. A county judge said he provided advice on how to evade the law against witness perjury. (Michigan Bar Association photo.)

It is a puzzling thing but Baughman is frankly deified by the legal community. He’s been called “the appellate guru” and “the Oracle of Delphi.” In the aftermath of the Inkster case scandal the late Judge Waterstone told an attorney general’s investigator: "...When Tim Baughman speaks, judges listen, defense attorneys listen, police officers listen.”

In addition to “guru” and “oracle” perhaps the legal community might consider describing him as “counselor on how to evade the laws on perjury.”

Judge Waterstone told the investigator she considered seeking the advice of Judge Timothy Kenny, the chief of the Wayne County Circuit Court criminal division. But before she had a chance to speak with Judge Kenny, Karen Plants was in her chambers telling her Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Timothy Baughman suggested a way to conceal the perjury; the plan was to hold a “sealed” hearing in chambers about the perjured testimony. Presumably, defense attorneys wouldn’t be invited to participate—a blatant violation of criminal legal procedure. The Baughman plan, as it was described, was to hide the fact of the perjured testimony in a sealed conversation between the judge and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Plants that would only be revealed if the defendants were convicted and defense attorneys somehow decided to bring up the issue on appeal. In other words, the judge says she relied on the advice of the “appellate guru” the “oracle” on how to break the law about perjury and get away with it.

Baughman, for his part, told various reporters he couldn’t comment when all of this became 
known in 2009. You bet he couldn’t comment. Baughman was on a slippery slope, one manure-caked shoe away from getting charged himself. But the Michigan Attorney General and the rest of the legal community didn’t really want to go there because Baughman is
the “oracle” and appellate “guru” don’tcha know. In Wayne County and Michigan criminal justice, some people are untouchable.  

What did Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, that great champion of justice, do about Baughman? Nothing. He’s still the chief of her appellate unit.

There’s more.

What did the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board do about Baughman’s advice on how to cover up perjury? Nothing. This is the same watchdog group that will investigate and charge attorneys for stealing a dime from a client. The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board is a part of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. According to their Web site: “The Attorney Grievance Commission (AGC) is the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the Michigan Supreme Court for allegations of attorney misconduct. The AGC serves to maintain and promote the integrity of the Bar and to protect the public, the courts, and the legal profession.” Uh huh. Unless you have Yoda-like status as the “guru” and “oracle” of appellate law, as Baughman does.

There’s more.

Timothy Baughman just happens to be the point man in Kym Worthy’s relentless battle to keep Richard J. Wershe, Jr. in prison until he dies. The fact Wershe is the last remaining Michigan drug lifer who was charged as a juvenile doesn’t matter to the vendetta-driven Wayne County Prosecutor. Wershe embarrassed Coleman Young, the patron saint of black politics in Wayne County and he exposed drug corruption in the Detroit Police Department to the detested FBI.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy (Detroit Free Press photo)

Baughman is pulling out all the stops to keep Wershe from getting a sentence reduction. He’s doing so with the blessing of his boss, justice-minded Kym Worthy. You may remember, her office admitted to me in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that they have nothing to support the years-old claim that Wershe is a menace to society. “The records do not exist,” they told me. Anyone with a true sense of justice would have the courage to do a thorough and publicly open review of the Wershe case, the factual assumption behind the argument for keeping him in prison forever.

Richard J. Wershe, Jr. in court last September. If the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office had standards of integrity and justice, they would encourage a full and open review of the facts and falsehoods of his life prison sentence. Instead they are waging an epic battle to keep him in prison for the rest of his life. (AP Photo)

Does any of this matter to Baughman or Worthy? Is it possible there has been prosecutorial misconduct in the Wershe case? The battles in the appellate courts against re-sentencing Rick Wershe, Jr. speak for themselves. Timothy Baughman and Kym Worthy can be accused of a lot of things. Ethics, integrity and a sense of justice aren’t among them.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

10 people who spend millions of tax dollars, control thousands of lives

No one questions the decisions of the Michigan Parole Board. Someone should. They make decisions behind closed doors. Unless the Governor questions their work—and he never does—these people decide the fate of thousands of Michigan prison inmates at a cost of millions of dollars to the taxpayers. Who are these people? This installment of Informant America tells you.

If you were to stop people on the street at random and ask them to name just one member of the Michigan Parole Board the chances are almost 100% that you won’t get a single name. Yet the 10 members of the board are directly responsible for spending over 20% of the Michigan General Fund through their decisions about which inmates should remain in prison and which inmates are released on parole.  At least twenty percent of Michigan’s tax dollars go to the operation of the state’s prisons and parole/probation system.
Naming the members of the Parole Board is one of the patronage perks of being Governor. It’s the governor’s right to decide who sits on the board. These people are not subject to any nominating process, they do not have to answer any questions from the Michigan House or Senate about their philosophy and views of crime and punishment.
Let’s examine who sits on this panel vested with such tremendous power without any routine oversight.

Michael Eagen—he is the chairperson of the 10-member Parole Board. Eagen worked as a prosecuting attorney with the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office for 25 years, serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney, senior assistant prosecuting attorney, and chief assistant prosecuting attorney.

Kevin R. Belk—he is the retired Chief of Police for Grand Rapids. He was chief from 2008 to 2014. Belk had been with the Grand Rapids Police Department since 1980.

Abigail Callejas—Ms. Callejas is a probation supervisor with the Michigan Department of Corrections, serving in Oakland County. In other words, she is a career corrections worker who was selected from within the Department of Correction. She started with the Department in 1998 as a probation officer and she was promoted to a department specialist in the Office of Community Corrections.

Anthony E. King—King has a background in social work in college academia. He's been a teacher and researcher at Michigan State University and Wayne State University. His stated interests involve social work in prisons and community-corrections settings plus community-based offender rehabilitation and treatment programs.

Nancy Martin—is another promotion-from-within Corrections staffer. Martin is a 29-year veteran of the department.

Barbara Sampson—Sampson has been on the Parole Board a long time. Sampson has served on the Parole Board since 2003. She was appointed chairperson for a term in 2007.

She has a background in "the system." She has worked with the Wayne County Department of Community Justice/Adult Services, she has been an adjunct instructor at Wayne State University, and she has been a corrections officer with the Department of Corrections.  

A former member of the Parole Board says he recalls a parole panel review of Rick Wershe’s application for release in which Sampson blurted out her opinion that Wershe is personally responsible for the entire downfall of Detroit. That’s quite a singular achievement for a white school drop-out who was arrested at age 17 and sent to prison for life at age 18.

Brian Shipman another career Corrections officer who has been recycled from within. He's been with the Michigan Department of Corrections for over a quarter of a century. Shipman started his career with MDOC in 1989 as a corrections officer, i.e., prison guard.

Sonia Amos-Warchock—yet another plucked-from-within former prison guard. She has been a corrections officer, probation agent, parole/probation supervisor, acting area manager, and parole violation specialist.

Jerome Warfield—at first glance it seems Warfield is a clergyman serving on the Parole Board. That's true but it's not all the truth. Warfield is a pastor at the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, but he also has been the Chairman of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners.

Sandra Wilson—another recycled Department of Corrections employee. She has worked for the department since 1994, beginning as probation agent. She worked her way up to a variety of supervisory positions in the Department of Corrections.
For those who haven’t been keeping score, nine of the 10 members of the Michigan Parole Board are an ex-prosecutor, an ex-police chief, an ex-chairman of the Detroit Police Commission or recycled career staffers from within the Michigan Department of Corrections. Only academic Anthony King does not appear to have a law enforcement background.

There’s not a single former criminal defense attorney or “straight” clergyman or K-12 educator on the board. As noted, Warfield is a clergyman but he has been extensively involved with the Detroit Police Department.  

These are people who, by default, believe the police and prosecutors are always telling the truth, that they would never fabricate facts or evidence against a prison inmate. Some might say this group is ripe for bias based on their life experiences. 

But they are not accountable to any outside review as they make parole decisions affecting thousands of lives and millions of tax dollars. That won’t change unless the voters demand it.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Michigan's Prison System: It's Costly and it's Flawed

Many people who read this blog and follow the Free Richard Wershe, Jr. Facebook page are frustrated and eager to help, to ‘do something.’ It may not be glamorous, it may not be exciting, but one thing anyone and everyone can do is pressure their local State representative and Senator to get serious about Corrections reform. The prison system is THE biggest single drain on the budget for the State of Michigan. The system has no oversight, it has no accountability, it has no system for determining in any accurate way who should be released and who should remain behind bars. If you’re interested in stories about how your tax dollars are squandered, read on.

Let’s suppose for a moment that someone in Lansing demanded 20% of every tax dollar you send to the State of Michigan at tax time. Let’s suppose they told you this money is being spent to keep you “safe” from crime and criminals.

Let’s also suppose these same people are accountable to no one. Oh, sure. They spend the money alright. Thousands of people are behind bars. But you have no way of knowing if it is being spent wisely or cost-effectively. You don’t know if all that money is keeping you safer. It’s probably not much comfort to tell you they don’t know the answer, either.

Twenty percent. Two zero percent. 20%. That’s a big chunk of your tax dollars to pour down a black hole year in and year out with no evidence either way on whether that money is achieving its intended goal of rehabilitating wrongdoers and making the state safer from crime.

That’s what’s happening to a disturbing degree with the direct pipeline from the Michigan Treasury to the Michigan Department of Corrections.

At the end of last year, the latest figures show Michigan had 43,359 prison inmates. That’s down slightly from the previous year, which had an increase in prison admissions.

We will stipulate up front that some people deserve to be in prison. Those prone to violent crime are not good candidates for parole, particularly repeat offenders. This is not the issue. 

Look at the following 2013 chart from the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Chart - Michigan Department of Corrections

Forty-two (42%) percent of the inmates were in for assaultive crimes. No argument there. But look at the rest of the pie chart. On the left we see 44.6% of the prison inmates are serving time for non-assaultive crimes. Another 13.4% are serving time for non-violent drug crimes. Add it up and you’ll see 58% of the Michigan prison population is behind bars for non-violent offenses.

The latest figures from state budget officials show Michigan is spending $38,171 per-inmate per-year to keep over 43 thousand people behind bars, even though over half of them are doing time for non-violent crimes. That’s $104.58 per inmate every single day regardless of what they did, regardless of whether they—and you—might be better served if they were in some non-prison program truly intended to steer them toward a life as a law-abiding citizen. Does this strike you as a good use of your tax dollars in an era when the public infrastructure—roads, bridges, sewers—are disintegrating? As an aside, the water system crisis in Flint, Michigan is just the tip of the iceberg. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives the entire nation's critical infrastructure a D+. They say $3.6 Trillion is needed to get us out of crisis mode by 2020.

Back to the prisons issue. Consider inmate health care. Case law is well established, from the U.S. Supreme Court on down, that if the state deprives someone of their liberty for any reason, including incarceration, the state has an obligation to provide that person with medical and dental care. It’s not an option. You are on the hook to provide them with decent quality medical and health benefits no matter what because they can’t choose for themselves. They don’t have a choice and therefore you don’t, either.

What’s that you say? Inmate so-and-so didn’t take care of his health while he was on the outside? It doesn’t matter. The People of the State of Michigan have decided to deprive Inmate so-and-so of his liberty, his freedom, his ability to care for himself. That means the people are on the hook for “free” medical and dental care.

In 2014 that amounted to $6,560.00 per inmate in Michigan, on average. It seems reasonable to wonder why the Obamacare haters of Michigan are not up in arms over free medical and dental for about 25,000 prison inmates who were not involved in violent crime. They wouldn’t have free medical and dental if they were on parole.

This brings us to the horribly broken parole system in Michigan. Most prison sentences have a minimum and maximum, say 15 to 30 years as an example. This means the inmate is eligible for parole consideration after serving 15 years.

As inmates approach their parole consideration date the Department of Corrections staff prepare documents which presumably help the Parole Board determine if an inmate is a good risk for parole. Lots of cases come up for review so the Parole Board has a full work load. Each member takes a batch of cases and reviews what the staff has prepared and interviews the inmate. These interviews are often quick due to the volume of cases under consideration. That Parole Board member then makes a recommendation unless there is some puzzling element. In that case, a second board member might review it. If there’s no agreement, a third might get involved and if that doesn’t resolve the issue, it might go to the full board for consideration.

There’s a catch—and it’s a big one. What if the information in the inmate’s file is wrong? What if there is no evidence to support the allegations made against him or her? What if the inmate is guilty but is not, was not, as bad as some police report in the file indicates? What if there is no factual evidence to support claims he or she is a menace to society?

Answer: Too bad. There is no procedure, no mechanism—none—to verify the facts or falsehoods about any given inmate. “It’s a flawed system,” says Robert Aguirre, a former member of the Michigan Parole Board.

Rick Wershe, Jr. in court in Detroit in September, 2015 (David Coates-Detroit News)

 Over the past year Informant America has pointed out in great detail the misleading and in some cases outright false “evidence” presented to the Michigan Parole Board in Rick Wershe, Jr.’s one and only parole hearing in 2003. That’s the one where the Parole Board was told he is a menace to society. He’s been “flopped” without any Parole Board interest in his case five times since then.

It would be like someone discovering a dangerous flaw in a highway bridge and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) saying, sorry, we don’t have a procedure for accepting information about the condition of the bridge after it has been built. What’s done is done.

In Rick Wershe’s case this means picking the pockets of the Michigan taxpayer every year to keep him incarcerated for 28 years for a non-violent drug arrest when he was 17 years old.

Previous Informant America blog posts have demonstrated through official investigative documents that Rick Wershe, Jr. is not and was not a menace to society. 

He was only a menace to corrupt Detroit cops and the relatives of Detroit’s late mayor, Coleman Young. Wershe committed the unpardonable sin of helping the FBI prosecute drug corruption in the police department and in Coleman Young’s family. Detroit’s Black Political Machine has had it in for him ever since. Why Michigan’s taxpayers are footing the bill for a vendetta by Detroit’s Black Political Machine is anybody’s guess.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Coleman Young's vendettas - why they may explain Rick Wershe's life in prison

Regular followers of Informant America know this blog contends Michigan prison inmate Richard Wershe, Jr. continues to languish in prison serving a life prison sentence as a result of a long-standing, deeply-entrenched vendetta begun by Detroit’s late mayor, Coleman Young. Somehow it has been perpetuated by his disciples in Detroit’s black political machine. Coleman Young ruled like an emperor. In the tradition of many old-style politicians he nurtured grudges and relished payback. A 1980 scandal involving a run-in between the mayor’s family and several Detroit police officers illustrates Young’s capacity for getting even.

Detroit Police 12th Precinct Commander Anthony Fiermonti wasn’t at work when his officers arrested Mayor Coleman Young’s family. He had taken a sick day after hitting his head really hard on a door jamb in a confrontation with a barricaded gunman the previous day. Deputy Chief Joe Areeda, a veteran cop with excellent political instincts called Fierimonti and ordered him to report to the 12th Precinct immediately. To hell with the sick day.

The 12th Precinct is nestled in one of the nicest areas of Detroit. It sits on the edge of the Palmer Park golf course. On the other side of West 7 Mile Rd. are some of the priciest homes in Detroit. Some can legitimately be described as mansions.

Satellite view of the Detroit Police 12th Precinct at the edge of a golf course. The red push-pin icon on the right denotes the precinct building. (Google Maps)

When Fiermonti arrived at the police precinct, all hell was breaking loose. Juanita Volsan Clark and Bernice Greer, the mayor’s sisters and his niece, Sidni Jacobs, were in custody and under arrest for disorderly conduct. They allegedly fought with several police officers during a parking altercation. The women had been strip-searched by female police officers.

The women had been arrested during an ugly dispute over a parking spot at an apartment complex in the 12th precinct. The building custodian had allowed residents to use his designated parking space because he didn’t own a car. Sidni Jacobs, the mayor’s niece, was living there.

Apparently Sidni Jacobs had somehow taken the man’s generous gesture to mean the custodian’s parking space was her parking space. She used the space as her own. On the day of the incident another resident had dared to park his car in her space.

The Detroit apartment building where the altercation occurred.

Ms. Jacobs parked her car behind the other car, blocking it in. An argument ensued. Technically, Ms. Jacobs wasn’t even a resident. She had been evicted from this building but she had moved in with another legitimate tenant. The building was owned by a Detroit police sergeant with an outstanding department record, including numerous citations for his superb work.

Sidni Jacobs, Mayor Coleman Young's niece (Photo-Mary Schroeder, Detroit Free Press)

The dispute quickly escalated. The police were called. Sidni Jacobs had a fit. According to one account she kicked an officer in the groin and punched him. She was carried, kicking and screaming, to a patrol car where her mother, Bernice Greer and her aunt, Juanita Volsan Clark tried to block officers from putting Jacobs in the police car. The older women were arrested for interfering with the police.

Word that the mayor’s sisters and niece had been arrested spread quickly. Commander Fiermonti received a phone call from Executive Deputy Police Chief James Bannon, another highly political police official. Bannon ordered Fierimonti to release the women immediately.

But by then a TV news camera crew had shown up and was waiting the 12th Precinct lobby. Fiermonti said he decided to detain the women a bit longer to shield them from the media cameras.

Deputy Mayor Alex Luvall showed up. He ordered the women be released immediately. They were.

Residents of the 12th Precinct, black and white, rallied to the defense of Commander Fiermonti. They appealed to Police Chief Hart and Mayor Young to spare Fiermonti. Neighborhood activists from five citizen groups said he had been sensitive and responsive to their needs in the precinct. They described him as genuinely cooperative.

Former Detroit Police Commander Anthony Fiermonti

It didn’t matter. Commander Fiermonti and the other cops involved in the incident had failed to consider the political reality of Detroit. The title said “Mayor” but Coleman Young ruled as an absolute emperor and his family behaved as privileged, above-the-law members of Detroit’s imperial family. Laws and rules that applied to mere citizens didn’t apply to them. Traffic and parking tickets were mere nuisances to be disposed of by the mayor’s security detail of hand-picked plainclothes Detroit cops.

If Mayor Young’s nieces chose to arrogantly drive at dangerous speeds on Detroit’s freeways, well, that was their right, in their minds, as members of ghetto royalty. They knew there would be hell to pay from their uncle if any cop or parking meter maid tried to say otherwise. Mayor Young was, after all, the head motherfucker-in-charge, as he once put it. He openly admired the enormous political power of Chicago’s legendary mayor, Richard “Boss” Daley. Young was proud to be called the nation’s first black Richard Daley.

Fiermonti was charged with failure to obey an order for not immediately releasing the mayor’s relatives as ordered by Executive Deputy Chief Bannon. In addition, he was charged with failing to take action after an improper arrest. (The police department said the incident was a dispute on private property and didn’t come under police jurisdiction.) Last but not least, Commander Fiermonti was charged with being discourteous and impolite to the women.

He was busted two ranks to lieutenant; a major loss in pay and pension benefits. For added measure he was charged with faking an illness to avoid answering questions during the inquiry.

Lt. Howard Allen, the shift commander when the incident occurred and the ranking officer when the women were strip-searched, was demoted to sergeant.

Sgt. Gerardo Pecchia, the owner of the apartment building, was demoted to patrolman.

Until this incident Commander Fiermonti had a spotless police record. He had been given numerous department citations for his superb police work. A few weeks earlier the Detroit City Council had honored him with the Spirit of Detroit award. It didn’t make any difference.

Sgt. Pecchia also enjoyed an outstanding reputation for his undercover work on narcotics cases. He, too, had several department citations for excellent work. It didn’t make any difference.
Commander Fiermonti and his 12th Precinct cops had made the fateful mistake of treating Mayor Young’s family the same as everyone else. They made the mistake of believing the law against fighting with police officers applied to the imperial family of Detroit, the same as it did for every other citizen.

Fiermonti left the department later that year in a retirement deal worked out with the mayor’s lawyers.

This tragic incident is worth considering when we look at what has happened to Rick Wershe, Jr. who remains in prison 28 years after being sentenced to a life prison term for a non-violent drug conviction.

Rick Wershe, Jr. was a cocky white kid who secretly helped the FBI prosecute Johnny Curry, the drug-dealing husband of Cathy Volsan Curry, one of Mayor Young’s other nieces. If there was one thing Coleman Young hated more than the FBI it was the Bureau’s “stool pigeons,” an old term for informants.

Wershe was not only a “stool pigeon” he was secretly helping the FBI nab high-level black criminals; in this case Coleman Young’s niece’s husband.

After Johnny Curry went to jail his wife boldly approached Wershe, about five years her junior, and suggested they have a fling. They did. It was torrid. It was a scandal in certain circles and it undoubtedly embarrassed Detroit’s powerful mayor who made no secret of his dislike of white people.

When Wershe quit working for the FBI and got busted by the Detroit Police as a major drug dealer, William E. Bufalino II, his defense attorney later testified under oath that Mayor Young had urged him to stay out the case. “This is bigger than you think it is,” Bufalino quoted Young as warning him.

The story of mayoral retribution doesn’t end there. A couple of years after Wershe went to jail for life, he went to work for the FBI again; from prison. He helped the FBI arrange an undercover sting operation. From a prison phone, Wershe contacted his former lover, Cathy Volsan—the mayor’s niece—and told her some of his old “connects” in Miami needed police protection for dope and money shipments to Detroit.  She saw dollar signs. She reached out to her father, Willie Volsan, who was a long-time black gangster who had transitioned from illegal numbers in the 50s and 60s to heroin dealing in the 70s to cocaine dealing in the 80s. Willie Volsan was married to Juanita, one of the mayor’s sisters.

Willie Volsan, in turn, recruited Sgt. James Harris, a member of Mayor Young’s security detail, who brought in about a dozen other cops. One of them, former Commander Gil Hill, was now a member of the Detroit City Council. Hill backed out of the deal, sensing something wasn’t right with the set-up.

The Miami “connects” turned out to be undercover FBI agents.

In the end, Volsan and Harris were convicted. Cathy Volsan Curry was named an un-indicted co-conspirator, but she was dropped from the case when she was hospitalized after a drug overdose.

Let’s review: A Detroit Police commander lost his career, along with the demotion of several other officers after they arrested Coleman Young’s sisters and niece after they became combative with officers over a parking space dispute. The commander’s outstanding reputation and numerous awards for excellent police work didn’t matter. He had crossed the mayor’s family.

Rick Wershe, Jr. had slept with the mayor’s other niece while working secretly with the FBI to indict and prosecute her drug-dealer husband. Wershe later used the mayor’s niece again in an FBI sting operation which led to the conviction of the mayor’s brother-in-law, the father of niece Cathy Volsan Curry, AND the conviction of one of Young trusted bodyguards in the same major drug case.

Current Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who is waging a vigorous fight to keep Wershe in prison until he dies, is a product of Detroit’s black political machine. She became an assistant prosecutor during Coleman Young’s reign as supreme leader of Detroit. She was a judge for a time before she ran for County Prosecutor and won. She got the money to run for office from the same black political machine that was built by Coleman Young. She continues to rely on that political machine to stay in office.

You connect the dots.