Wave Of A Gavel

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is sentenced in domestic case

by Michael VolpeSep 23, 2016

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has been sentenced to six years’ probation plus one hundred and eight days in jail for her role in her two daughters’ running away.

HASTINGS, Minnesota, September 23, 2016- Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has been sentenced to six years’ probation and an extra one hundred and eight days in jail for her role in her two daughters’ running away.

Grazzini-Rucki was to serve thirty days immediately and fifteen days each of the next six years on the anniversary of the date authorities found her two daughters, November 17. However, Grazzini-Rucki chose to serve the sentence all at once, a total of as long as 233 days, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Judge Asphaug handed down the sentence even though the prosecutor, Kathryn Keena, asked for only the probation and no jail time. Keena said she was fulfilling a promise made to Grazzini-Rucki’s daughter, Samantha, one of the two daughters who ran away.

Judge Asphaug imposed the unusual sentence after disallowing nearly all of the evidence Grazzini-Rucki intended to use in support of her affirmative defense. Grazzini-Rucki argued that she hid her daughters to protect them from an unsafe environment.

The criminal record of Grazzini-Rucki’s ex-husband, David Rucki including a bar fight, road rage incident, numerous incidents of stalking and numerous violations of orders for protection, were all disallowed.

Child Protection reports, including one made by Nico Rucki in which he claimed his father held a gun to his head, were also disallowed.

Judge Asphaug’s chambers directed all calls to Beau Berentson, public affairs officer for the Minnesota courts, who did not respond to an email for comment.

David Rucki made a victim impact statement which included the following statement:

“She is not the same woman I married twenty-five years ago. Sandy, that woman, is gone. She doesn’t realize how blessed she is. She cannot comprehend the pain and trauma on her children. We need to free Sandra from her distorted reality. How Sandy thought alienation of the family was a good plan? Nico was forced by Sandy to write false statement on Facebook. They were not the truth they were his mother’s words.”

Rucki thanked several people including the Lakeville Police Department, his sister Tammi and Brandon Stahl of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The Lakeville Police Department has declined all comments on the case directing all questions to the Dakota County Prosecutor’s Office which did not respond to several CDN emails for comment. An email to David Rucki’s attorney, Lisa Elliott, was also left unreturned.

Stahl wrote an explosive story on the case in April 2015 when Dale Nathan first revealed that he was in the care of Grazzini-Rucki on April 19, 2013. Nathan would repeat this story several times including on ABC’s 20/20. Stahl wrote the story on the two-year anniversary of the girls’ disappearance. Curiously, however, Stahl confirmed to CDN that this was the first story he’d written on the case.

CDN learned that a third party approached Stahl in January of 2015 asking that he write about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki but Stahl declined saying the presence of Nathan posed a problem since he was a disbarred lawyer at the time. Stahl declined to comment when CDN asked why Nathan’s presence was no longer an issue.

Stahl has also declined to provide details of David Rucki’s voluminous criminal and violent history. Stahl also declined to write about Samantha Rucki’s June 30, 2016 police interview when CDN provided it to him.

In that interview Samantha Rucki said she was pressured into recanting by her father, running away was her idea, and she reiterated her father was an abuser .

Read more at http://www.commdiginews.com/life/sandra-grazzini-rucki-sentenced-71420/#jtxfFIM17yZU85bi.99

WITH ADVOCATES LIKE THESE. . .

lori-musolf-pic

Lori Musol

“Crime victims have rights! Investigations into criminal activity should result in justice for the victims.”  Lori Musolf.

More Quotes from Lori

“Sam’s a very conniving and manipulative person. My heart went out to her, because at first I did believe her.”

“I have no doubt that the judge is corrupt as the day is long, that’s why I got involved. There’s no denying the shit she had to go through in the courtroom,”

“Sam is vindictive, to me this whole plot was about revenge against David and about money.”

“She felt like he would kill her if he had the chance.”

“I don’t trust David and I do think the man is dangerous”

“Sam did this to herself and she deserves the consequences from it. Hopefully Sam isn’t having any communication with them” (referring to Sandra’s children)

“If she’s facing prison time she’s going to run.I can see her taking the girls and running again”

Excerpts from interview with Detective Dronen: 

Detective Dronen

Deetective Dronen

Detective Dronen:  Let me ask you something along those lines when the girls first went missing on the 19th of April.

Lori: I think I’ve got the timelines figured out when we interviewed (referring to Fox9 interview of the girls). I believe I had gotten a call that night that they were gone and I believe that was a Friday night. Things have just been triggering memories for me when I read stuff like, you know I’ll read through these stories and everything else and I actually talked to Trish and I think I’ve got the timeline figured out. So they went missing Friday night they called me on Saturday the next day because we tried to set up the interview for Saturday but we could not find a photographer that would work the weekend. We didn’t interview them till Monday morning, my husband was home during that time too and we are trying to get everything figured out. So I figure it was between Saturday and Sunday that we talked on the phone and it was either Sunday or Monday we did the interview.

Detective Dronen: When this all happened, the girls called you and you called Trish. Had Trish ever heard about the story before that?

Lori: Yeah, Trish had heard about it. Fox nine had actually been down to. . . well no that was after the girls disappeared. I don’t know that she heard about it before they disappeared other than just well her and I are friends as well, so I probably brought it up to her because I did talk to her about other Carver County cases I was working on. She knew about the Carver County corruption blog once I got involved with those people down there. Sam didn’t come into the picture until after I’d been involved with the Carver County cases for a while

Lori: (After the interview with Samantha and Giana) “I left and went straight to St. Cloud and Dede and Sam were already there so I knew they didn’t have those girls. They were already at the hotel when we got there, they were waiting in the parking lot.”


Detective Dronen: One of the things I came across when I was going through some emails, was a conversation between you and Dede, which looks like it probably started in May, probably shortly after the stories in the Star Tribune were coming out.

Lori: That’s when I was trying to get information from her, hoping she’d spill her guts.

Detective Dronen: Then it kind of jumped to September and then went into October.

Lori: Because she did not know until those stories actually started coming out. I mean she did not know, in fact, I don’t know that she even really knows now that I actually talked to you guys and gave you information.


Detective Dronen: Like I said, unfortunately I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve had issues with family court going through this case, because it seems like just about everybody has had their experiences and that’s part of the reason I think that they’re willing to try and help. Everybody’s had some sort of issues with courts and you know, I’ll be honest with you, I’m sure the system is definitely not perfect. Even just looking at this case – just how long this case got drawn on and on and on for a multitude of reasons all the way around.

Lori: The first year, 2 years even that those girls were gone, I honestly didn’t think anybody cared or were looking for them. You know when it finally came up again, I was like I’ve got to start digging here, I’ve got to figure out something because this is ridiculous. It’s just gone on way too long.

Detective Dronen: I would agree on that. I’m just boxing up this case now to try and be done.


Detective Dronen: Since finding the girls, we have to approach them very carefully, because of course part of the reason they’re so upset is that they feel they were never really listened to in the first place. I think, you know depending on how some things went when they were dealing with the court system in the beginning, it probably seems like it wasn’t necessarily their opinion that mattered regardless of what they said. Unfortunately for me though, I look at this cae and it just looks like the worst of the worst on the planet. I’m trying to figure it all out and go from there because the allegations are wildly different on both sides, so that’s the fun part for me.


Related Articles:  
Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse
 Shocking Interview from Grazzini-Rucki Case – Brodkorb Goes Rogue, Dronen Wants to Make Rucki Girls Wards of the State, More…
Explosive Rucki police interview adds new wrinkle to story

LION NEWS: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF SAMANTHA RUCKI CALLING DAKOTA CO. JUDGE KNUTSON A “DICK”

Lion News: Exclusive Video Of Samantha Rucki Calling Dakota County Judge Knutson A “Dick”?

Judging the Judges

Stop Judiging

Image by Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

Is Anybody Judging the Judges? The California Legislature Wants Answers

A joint committee of the California Legislature has authorized an audit of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the only entity that can discipline or remove a state judge.

A coalition of two dozen groups reflecting a wide range of interests, led by the Center for Judicial Excellence wrote letters, made calls and sent emails to urge the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) to call for the audit.

“The Center for Public Integrity gave California an ‘F grade’ on its 2015 report card for judicial accountability, said Kathleen Russell, the executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence in a press release.

Continue Reading: http://sandiegofreepress.org/2016/08/is-anybody-judging-the-judges-the-california-legislature-wants-answers/


Most audits in public sector governance are political and worthless. Even if they uncover deficiencies, abuse and fraud, change is usually not forthcoming.

Below is an article from 2013 that clearly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of audits in the public sector. The MN legislative auditor perforrmed 5 consecutive audits on the Dept. of Human Services and found several deficiencies, but guess what?  Despite the fact that error, abuse and fraud were identified, no changes have been made and DHS has not been sanctioned by the federal government.

Audit: Problems at Minn. Human Services Unresolved   

KSTP  | 7-11-13 | Stephen Tellier  “Sorry the Page You are Looking for Doesn’t Exist”

Fortunately, Red Herring Alert has obtained a copy of this article!

Audit: Problems at Minn. Human Services Unresolved   7-11-13 | Stephen Tellier 

A scathing audit released Thursday, July 11, finds systemic problems at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) that still haven’t been fixed — more than two years after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation brought them to light.

DHS oversees about $9 billion in total Medicaid spending and another $1.4 billion in federal funds for welfare, child care assistance, as well as several other programs. Auditors say the state simply isn’t doing a good enough job keeping track of that taxpayer money.

And this is far from the first time they’ve come down hard on DHS.

“I believe that errors, abuse and fraud exist in this program,” said Cecile Ferkul, deputy legislative auditor with the Office of the Legislative Auditor, during our investigation in 2011.

More than two years later, Ferkul said little has changed. “It can be frustrating that they’re not getting resolved,” Ferkul said Thursday.  She oversaw the audit, which reads like a bureaucratic broken record.

Auditors found DHS is not making sure Minnesotans who receive welfare and child care assistance are eligible for those benefits – and that fraud can still go undetected. Auditors also say DHS has “significant, ongoing noncompliance” with federal requirements – a problem first identified in 2009 and now cited in five consecutive audits.

“When the state has a program that’s spending $9 billion, they have a responsibility to make sure it’s going to the right people,” Ferkul said.

DHS has admitted to the problems found. The department has promised to fix them after each audit, but hasn’t. The department told us no one was available for an on-camera interview, but responded with a statement from Deputy Commissioner Charles Johnson:

“The auditor’s report found we are largely in compliance with all requirements related to the federally-funded programs we administer. We agree with the audit’s conclusions about the areas that need improvement and are moving forward to ensure these issues are resolved. We are committed to running these programs in the most cost-effective way possible to best serve the people of Minnesota.”

Auditors say the department’s broken record is full of broken promises.

“They have now estimated that they’ll be able to resolve that finding by December of 2015 — still two and a 1/2 years out,” Ferkul said.

The audit also found that the state failed to request $139 million in Medicaid payments from the federal government. That money has since been recouped.

Despite the audit echoing previous problems, DHS has not been hit with sanctions by the federal government. But auditors say that is a possibility.


8/10/2016 Press Release: California Judicial Watchdog Faces First Audit in 56 Years (PDF)

Excerpt:“The audit request received support from the state’s powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU California), the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV) and the Sacramento Chapter of the NAACP, along with more than a dozen court reform and child protection organizations. A number of audit supporters have been working to expose widespread corruption in the family court system that many say has created an epidemic of judicial trafficking of abused children away from their protective parents and into abusive homes during divorces and separations.


These groups continually ignore the money matters and help cover up, ignore, and derail the very important discussions on grants use and corporation fraud.

The Center for Judicial Excellence promotes the narrative that “the system is broken.” 

Read more about the “Broken Courts Crowd” from familycourtmatters.wordpress.com below:

Family Courts: Crippled, Incompetent and Corrupt — or just “Broken”?

In 2002, California NOW put out a report declaring that the family courts were “Crippled, Incompetent and Corrupt.”

Meanwhile, many coalitions of professionals, have popularized the phrase that they aren’t corrupt, they’re “broken.”

Which is it?  Because, that’s a good question and depending on the answer, a different response is called for.  I have cited both references below, and blogged both of them before.

Unfortunately, I don’t see any public platform where there would be an open debate, with an audience!

Our Courts are Corrupt v. Our Courts are Broken?

Instead, the different sides, Balkanized, put out their own materials, and own conferences.  Generally speaking the “our Courts are Broken” conferences are run by some of the would-be fixers, and this viewpoint has much more financial backing!

But — the question CAN be answered, and has. However, the answer is psychologically disturbing and very unpleasant, and to verify it, most people would have to take out some private time to read the record.  And that’s not what most people’s minds are tuned to these days.

Mine only is because I don’t like losing complete contact with my kids overnight, and thereby losing my ability to self-support, or a period of time in which to rebuild what was destroyed in the last boxing round, which court events when combined with family events, are.  I also didn’t like my children losing their right to child support when it was in serious arrears, or their contact with an ethical working mother.  The existence of the family law system parallel to a criminal law system is logical dilemma.

Is there a formula for when the identical behavior is considered criminal versus a family dispute, or is it a coin toss?  Does it depend on local politics, the money in one’s family, luck, or is there a strategic plan (as yet unexposed) which the public and the peopel running through the courts don’t know?

If no one cares to give me a reasonable explanation why these things are so in my state (other states) and this country — if this is business as usual, then either it has to change or I will seek a safer place to live out what remains of my life, if one exists Period. So, I look things up until things that fit with the facts and the record make themselves known, but I am always interested in validating or invalidating statements; are they reasonable or unreasonable, or ridiculous. If they are borderline ridiculous (the root word for “ridiculous” is Latin for “to laugh.”), then who is promoting these ridiculous viewpoints, and where’s the profit in them?

Now, the profit is not that hard to track — it’s objective. It takes work to track, but it can be found (even the LACK of incorporation, nonprofit 990 tax returns, etc. can be “found,” i.e., when the group says it’s a nonprofit, and the IRS says it’s not, and hasn’t been — that’s a found fact….)

RE:  “Our Broken Courts” —

Amazingly, even families (often mothers) who have been more than just “broken” by the allegedly broken courts — they are “broke” financially, devastated emotionally, and some are homeless, others have been killed, and many have no real contact with their own children. others may have contact, but are paying heavily (that’s paying a lot financially) to do so — they have been put in supervised visitation themselves!  yet, they continue to endorse, listen to, and socially etc. support others who are promoting the “broken” viewpoint.

But, they have taken up the phrase themselves, along with phrases calling themselves losers (“Mothers of Lost Children” being a phrase that calls for the emotion of desolation, but moreover, it associates “mothers” with the word “Losers.”  A better word would be “stolen” children….)   Other emotional adjectives, even if true, engrain the trauma into the group name:  “Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference,” focuses on the language of battering.   Etc.

I pulled this segment out of the middle of the last post, which was about the quality of the TAGGS database, and believe this topic is more than timely right now.  I also (obviously) expanded it.

The answer is surprising and informative.  By getting to it, I believe anyone will be better equipped as a citizen here, children or no children.  But, you must make up your mind where you stand sooner or later.  I am asking those that are NOT part of the expansive business empire of the courts to make that “sooner.”  Thanks for reading this post!

Continue Reading: https://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/family-courts-crippled-incompetent-and-corrupt-or-just-broken/

Unwarranted: Was the Arrest Warrant Against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Improperly Handled?

In August 2015, a sealed warrant for the arrest of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was “accidentally” posted on the public webpage of the Dakota County Sheriff’s office leading to the warrant being widely published, and shared, in news media outlets. Sensitive information about the sealed warrant was also given to abusive ex-husband, David Rucki, from The Star Tribune. Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie claims the leak was just a “glitch”.

The original warrant was then pulled down from the public website then re-sealed again, as if nothing had ever happened. The original warrant was put under a 2nd seal (re-sealed) and never served to Sandra but instead sent U.S. Marshalls after her, claiming she was a “fugitive”. How can you be a “fugitive” when you were never informed of proceedings, and never served with a warrant? 

Sheriff Tim Leslie

Sheriff Tim Leslie

Could that “glitch” cost Dakota County their case against Sandra? A recent court ruling states that improper service is grounds for dismissal; certainly in this case, there was not only improper service but outright negligence to protect information so sensitive that the judge ordered the warrant to be sealed. 

Signed, Sealed, but NOT Delivered

When someone is suspected of a crime, law enforcement obtains a warrant of arrest which is a document signed by a judge authorizing the detention of an individual, or authorizing the search and seizure of an individual’s property.

In the case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, a nation wide warrant for arrest was submitted by Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn M. Keena before a judge, and put under a seal on August 12, 2015. Sandra was charged with 3 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights. According to Keena a seal was needed “because disclosure could cause defendant to flee, hide, or otherwise prevent execution of the warrant”. The seal was to last until Sandra is arrested, and returned to the state. What evidence did Keena have to substantiate a sealed warrant? To date, no evidence has been presented that would justify such an extraordinary measure. 

Kathryn Keena (Source:http://minnlawyer.com)

Kathryn Keena (Source:http://minnlawyer.com)

Was a Sealed Warrant Necessary?

A seal means that the warrant is filed in secret, and its existence will not be made public. The subject of the warrant has no idea that they are wanted on charges until they are apprehended. A sealed warrant is usually reserved for special circumstances where public knowledge may jeopardize the investigation and/or issuance of the warrant.

Putting a seal on an arrest warrant is NOT a common procedure; and is even more extraordinary when used against an ordinary Minnesota Mom. Sandra has no prior criminal history, and has attended all scheduled court dates (related to ongoing custody issues, she has NO prior criminal history) – even travelling from out of state to do so. Sandra has also worked at the same job for 28 years, and maintains a stable lifestyle. She posed absolutely no risk of danger to anyone, and was certainly not a flight risk. 

Further, the police knew exactly where to find Sandra – according to the police report, the Lakeville police had previously issued search warrants for the airline she worked for, and had no problem finding out her address, phone number, and employment information. Sandra was being monitored before the warrant was issued. While this was happening, Sandra maintained her normal routine, and did not display any signs that she would evade any legal process.

A summons to appear at a court date would have been sufficient, rather than going to these unnecessary and costly, efforts used by Dakota County.

Somebody’s watching me… (Public Domain: http://www.acclaimimages.com)

Sealed Warrant Goes Public Due to a “Glitch”

Despite the exhaustive efforts of Dakota County to seal the arrest warrant, there was a glitch (or perhaps a leak?) and out of all the warrants entered in the system…somehow only the sealed warrant belonging to Sandra was “accidentally” posted publicly on the Dakota County Sheriff website. Dakota County continued to issue a fugitive warrant on a woman who did not even know a warrant had been issue. Sandra had never been served, nor had her attorney been served (in fact the attorney was only notified of the existence of a warrant after a call from the Star Tribune!)

And if that was not bad enough (gasp!) the Star Tribune, who had been in contact with Lakeville police for months, was alerted and went public, announcing an arrest warrant had been issued for Sandra.

Brandon Stahl of the Star Tribune broke news of the arrest warrant on August 18th: Mother sought in case of two missing Lakeville girls

Brandon Stahl, Star Tribune

Brandon Stahl, Star Tribune

Follwed by Michael Brodkorb, also of the Star Tribune, posting an update on August 21st on his Twitter feed, mentioning the arrest supposedly sealed warrant: https://twitter.com/mbrodkorb/status/634764171125592064

The Star Tribune then informed Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, about the sealed warrant…and gleefully spread the news across multiple social media venues. The seal had been broken on the warrant as the news spread nationwide thanks to the special efforts made by Stahl and Brodkorb at the Star Tribune. Keep in mind one of the common reasons that a warrant is sealed is to prevent news of the warrant from reaching the media, who could compromise the case with disclosure.  

Michael Brodkorb~ terminated reporter, Star Tribune

Michael Brodkorb~ terminated reporter, Star Tribune

By “coincidence” a local news outlet reports on the close relationship between Lt. Jason Polinski of the Lakeville Police Department and the Star Tribune,A Star Tribune story in April provided new information that helped police build a case for an arrest warrant for Grazzini-Rucki, who previously was considered a “person of interest,” in the case, Polinski said.Police looking for mother in disappearance of daughters in Minnesota

Even David Rucki himself acknowledged the connection,”..Rucki added he was “very grateful” for the assistance of law enforcement and media attention..” David had alot to be “grateful” for considering Michael Brodkorb of The Star Tribune tipped him off about the sealed warrant. Father of missing Lakeville sisters ‘relieved’ by warrant for ex-wife’s arrest/

At that point there is no reason for the warrant to remain sealed, instead providing Sandra with a notice to appear in court would have been appropriate. Instead, Dakota County relentlessly pursued Sandra. At great cost to tax payers, Dakota County had the warrant removed from the public website and then re-sealed. Sandra was apprehended by U.S. Marshalls, in Florida, and she endured a brutal journey being transported across the country, chained up in the back of a van for over 8 days. Keep in mind that Sandra works as a flight attendant, and she could have easily arranged her own transportation back to Minnesota – as she had done numerous times in the past to answer to proceedings related to her custody dispute. 

Recent Case Presents Compelling Reason for Dismissal

ID-100178787

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalimages.net

 The common law and the Constitution afford the public a qualified right of access to judicial records and proceedings. 

The significance of the sealed warrant being publicly posted, and then making the news outlets, is that information about the sealed warrant was not only improperly released but also improperly served. Even more important, every individual is protected by laws designed to uphold personal liberty. These laws are in place to limit the government’s ability to take our freedom or property without due process. 

In the 2011 case of Jones v. Brown County (Civil No. 11-CV-568, SRN/FLN) the District Court found that, “ Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5), improper service of process may be grounds for dismissal. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(5). In this case, none of the defendants have been properly served. “

The Court then dismissed a claim made against Brown County because, “It is clear that process was not properly served in this case. “ And, “With regard to the individual defendants, under Minnesota Law service may be effectuated “by delivering a copy [of the summons and complaint] to the individual personally or by leaving a copy at the individual’s usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein.” Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.03(a). The only attempt at service upon the individual defendants in this case was by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the county offices in which these defendants work. These mailings did not constitute service by mail, as the mailings did not include two copies of Form 22, or a substantially similar notice and acknowledgment form, as required by Minnesota law. Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.05. Plaintiffs failed to meet the requirements for service upon an individual. Plaintiffs claims should be dismissed for insufficient service of process…

And because Plaintiffs improperly served the original Complaint, this action was never properly commenced. See R. 3.01. “ Source: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-mnd-0_11-cv-00568/pdf/USCOURTS-mnd-0_11-cv-00568-1.pdf

Given that the sealed warrant was improperly served, the Prosecutor’s Office should promptly dismiss all charges. Plz stay tuned to Red Herring Alert for news and updates!

An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. “ ~ Mahatma Gandhi

ORLANDO: AMERICA UNDER ATTACK BY IT’S OWN GOVERNMENT

FBI, DHS, and Federal Government are not only unable to do their job, they are growing the radical Islamic invasion