Lawyers say trial eminent in ‘cop case’
Michael Oltersdorf will still be the Sheriff of Leelanau County when a federal lawsuit filed against him in March 2009 goes to trial in October.
Michael Borkovich is expected to take office Jan. 1.
On Friday, attorneys for Oltersdorf and the four deputies suing him told a federal court judge in Grand Rapids that their latest efforts to resolve the suit out of court had failed, and they planned to proceed to trial.
A 12-day jury trial has been slated to kick off in a federal courthouse in Grand Rapids on Oct. 23.
The trial has been rescheduled at least three times since March 2009 when deputies filed suit against Oltersdorf, Undersheriff Scott Wooters and Leelanau County. Numerous settlement conferences have been held since then, but with resolution.
The deputies allege that their civil rights were violated in 2008 when the sheriff recorded and listened to their “private” phone conversations on government phone lines in the county Law Enforcement Center during working hours, interfered with their police union activities, and retaliated against them for speaking out against the sheriff.
Plaintiffs in the suit are Sgt. James Kiessel, Sgt. Mike Bankey and Deputy Duane Wright who remain on duty in the sheriff’s department, and Sgt. Michael Lamb who is currently on disability.