Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sexual healing

Flint may be many things, but it has never been dull.

Stephen Rodrick — the intrepid journalist who penned the brilliant missive detailing our late night exploits on the darkened streets of downtown with conservative icon William F. Buckley — emailed me a Flint Journal article updating the ongoing saga of Dana Bacon, the embezzler extraordinaire from the Montrose School District. (Rodrick, by the way, is hard at work on another masterpiece recounting an amusing high-school prank we orchestrated. He's been hard at work on it for a long, long time. Steve, are you reading this? No pressure, man, but is it almost done?)

It seems Dana and the assistant prosecutor who sent her up the river were allegedly...well, I'll just let Bryn Mickle of the Journal give you the details. And read to the bottom to get info on the "golden flute":

Investigators say an assistant Genesee County prosecutor showed up at Motel 6 on Friday with plans to have sex with a woman he had put behind bars for stealing $1.2 million from Montrose schools.

But instead of getting sex, officials said Kennan M. DeWitt ended up going to jail amid allegations he has been carrying on a 7-month relationship with convicted school embezzler Dana Bacon.

DeWitt, 46, led the prosecution of Bacon, who was sentenced in November to one year in jail after pleading guilt to 10 felony charges.

He is suspended without pay from his duties at the prosecutor's office.

His attorney called claims that sex was involved "completely untrue" and said DeWitt was trying to counsel the 44-year-old Bacon.

"This is a guy with a good heart duped into helping someone with their own agenda," said Frank J. Manley.

Manley added that DeWitt's actions would be understood once they are placed in the proper context.

"This is not what it appears," said Manley, adding that DeWitt is a licensed social worker with a history of helping people.

Investigators believe DeWitt visited Bacon at jail work release sites around the county and exchanged phone calls and text messages.

The relationship was discovered this week when a Genesee County Sheriff's work release deputy stopped by a Linden storefront being painted by Bacon and saw her talking with DeWitt.

The deputy recognized DeWitt and told Sheriff Robert J. Pickell, who opened an investigation that led to the discovery of a number of text messages between the pair.

Investigators arrested DeWitt at a Flint Township motel where Pickell said Bacon had agreed to meet him.

"The investigation revealed that DeWitt was going to the motel to meet Dana Bacon for sex," said Pickell.

DeWitt was met at the hotel by sheriff's investigators and taken into custody. Pickell said he resisted arrest.

He was released a few hours later pending further investigation.

Genesee County Prosecutor David S. Leyton said he became aware of the allegations on Wednesday and decided to suspend DeWitt indefinitely Friday afternoon on the grounds of inappropriate conduct and contact with a defendant.

DeWitt, a married father, has been with the prosecutor's office for at least 15 years.

"This is an unhappy day for me, the staff ... none of us like this," said Leyton.

A decision on any criminal charges will be made by the Lapeer County Prosecutor's office. Leyton recused himself from the case.

As for Bacon, Leyton said it will be up to a judge to decide if she will be punished. Inmates out of jail through work release are restricted to work-related activities.

Pickell said Bacon told investigators that she felt DeWitt could adversely impact her situation based on his role as an assistant prosecutor.

"He's in a position of authority," said Pickell, who said DeWitt has also visited Bacon at the jail as she waited to go to her work release site.

Bacon has been in isolation at the Genesee County Jail since Wednesday and Genesee Circuit Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut has met with officials to determine if she should be taken off work release.

"Work release is an honor and a privilege. It's not a holiday," said Pickell.

Bacon had been granted work release to pay back the money she stole, working days at job sites and spending nights and Sundays at the jail.

She had been working at Starbucks, but officials said she was fired after negative publicity about her criminal case. She had most recently been doing painting jobs at various spots around the county.

So far, she has repaid about nearly $8,000 of the $1.2 million she embezzled, according to circuit court records.

Her attorney, Michael P. Manley, said he was shocked by the allegations involving Bacon and DeWitt.

But Manley doesn't believe there was anything inappropriate in the way DeWitt handled Bacon's prosecution, noting that she pleaded guilty to 10 felonies and was sentenced to a a year in jail and 5 years probation.

Bacon was fired by Montrose schools three years ago after officials found discrepancies in district funds.

Authorities alleged she used the money on extravagant vacations and purchases, including a golden flute.

She originally faced upwards of 24 years in prison but was given jail time so that officials could have better control of restitution in the case.

Go here for an update on DeWitt's plans to fight for his job.

And I'm just curious, how do you get one year of work release for stealing $1.2 million? Was DeWitt in on the sentencing recommendation?


3 comments:

  1. play the prurient aspect, ignore the fact that the real losers in this tawdry bullshit mess, are the students in that ISD. another fine example how public school students are continually ripped off, raped, reduced and relegated to the rear of the line again. oh yeah, and the voters. post this one?

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  2. Bustup, you are certainly right. Utlimately, it is the students, the parents, and the taxpayers that lose in this one.

    But I couldn't help giving into my juvenile instincts on this one. A golden flute!

    But seriously. You're right. And when you read the laundry list of embezzlement schemes, all the targets are marginalized people.

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  3. Yes....how does one get 1 year in prison for stealing 1.2 million dollars, directly affecting the loss of 30 people's jobs and walk out a free woman? Definitely something wrong with our penal system!

    For the rest of us working our butts off and FOLLOWING THE RULES OF DECENCY, this truly doesn't seem right!

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