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Southfield, Mich. — Oct. 21, 2015 — In a continuing case, Lapeer County Chief Judge Nick Holokwa on Oct. 20 refused to dismiss criminal contempt proceedings against former Lapeer county prosecutor Timothy Turkelson and Gary Parks, Lt., a detective in the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD).
The refusal by Judge Holokwa follows a motion filed on June 19, 2015 by Southfield-based criminal defense law firm, Rockind Law, and co-counsel Lake Orion-based Mogill Posner & Cohen to hold Parks and Turkelson in criminal contempt of court. The pair was ordered by Holokwa to appear in court and show cause why they should not be held in contempt. The show cause order was delivered in Lapeer County Circuit Court on July 13. Neither Parks nor Turkelson were in attendance.
The case revolves around allegations that Turkelson involved himself in the State of Michigan v Jamie Fricke medical marijuana matter in which he was recused and, additionally, whether Turkelson and Parks violated the court order to return property. Parks is held to one count of contempt for failing to honor the order to return property. The issues were exposed in a series of emails from May 2015 between Turkelson and Parks, obtained by defense attorney co-counsel Neil Rockind and Ken Mogill. In an email, Turkelson suggested that one way for Parks to avoid the order to return property to defendant Jamie Fricke was to ignore it so that Parks could explain himself to the judge.
In recent court filings, Turkelson and Parks, who were both reported to be antagonistic to medical marijuana, tried to avoid contempt proceedings by arguing the Court lacked jurisdiction. The Court rejected that argument. Rockind said Judge Holokwa’s latest ruling means the evidence of contempt is strong.
“Judge Holowka’s refusal to dismiss the criminal contempt charges against Turkelson and Parks reflects the seriousness of the issues at hand and reiterates what I have contended all along – court rules apply to everyone, including law enforcement officials and representatives of the state,” Rockind said. “The penalties for contempt range from jail and fines and, for attorney Turkelson, possible bar discipline, so the impact is far reaching.”
Rockind noted the next step in the case will be a scheduled hearing where Turkelson and Parks will be questioned about their conduct. However, in the interim, the pair has the legal right to appeal.
About Rockind Law
Rockind Law is a Southfield, Michigan-based criminal defense law firm aggressively pursuing justice for individuals facing criminal charges, including white collar crime, drunk driving, narcotics and assault. To find out more about the firm’s services and resources, visit http://www.rockindlaw.com.