Judge demands village to turn over documents - WNEM TV 5

Judge demands village to turn over documents

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Village of Oakley sign Village of Oakley sign

Wednesday brought new development in the legal battle involving a Mid-Michigan police department.

A judge ruled on the release of a list naming the department's reserve police officers, but the controversy doesn't end there.

Phil Ellison, the attorney for the plaintiff, was ecstatic after a judge demanded the village of Oakley turn over more documents.

Richard Hamilton, Oakley village attorney, said he too was thrilled with the ruling.

Wednesday was the first day back in front of a judge since Hamilton released the once private list of Oakley's donors and reservists last week, but according to Shiawassee County Judge Matthew Stewart releasing only the names was not enough to squash the case.

Village trustee Dennis Bitterman's daughter and wife simultaneously sued the village of Oakley because their freedom of information act requests to reveal the names of reserve police officers and donors was denied repeatedly.

Bitterman's daughter Shannon said the family filed lawsuits in Saginaw and Shiawassee counties in hopes to force the village to reveal those names.

Stewart addressed a slew of motions before allowing witnesses to take the stand. Among those witnesses is Chief Robert Resnick, who remained calm and collect as he fielded questions about his controversial reserve police force of about 150 officers.

Of the more than 150 reservists two took the stand on Wednesday, including prominent Detroit attorney Herschel Fink who was subpoenaed and traveled nearly 100 miles from Detroit to answer only one question. The only question Stewart allowed.

Only minutes after closing arguments and a morning full of testimony Stewart made his ruling.

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