October 31, 2014

Decisions made in case involving former county commissioners

Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — Decisions were handed down by the 23rd Circuit Court last week, dealing with the remaining claims of former county commissioners Amy Lynch and Kenneth Kernstock, and county employee Gail Seder.

The three took their case to circuit court after it was dismissed in June by the U.S. District Court Eastern Division of Michigan Northern Division.

Defendant Gary Rapp, who had represented the plaintiffs in the past in proceedings against Alger resident John Curcio, but later filed perjury charges against them, was granted governmental immunity. Michigan State Police First Lieutenant Robert Lesneski was granted partial governmental immunity. The third defendant in the case, Curcio, was granted summary disposition for all counts, which means that there was no real issue or no valid claim or defense offered by the plaintiffs.

The defendants were charged on four different counts: violation of the Forensic Polygraph Examiners Act, intentional infliction of emotion distress, false light/invasion of privacy, and gross negligence.

The original filings were made in October 2008 and stemmed from incidents that allegedly occurred in 2004-2006, which had Kernstock, Lynch and Seder involved in a perjury case, after the three plaintiffs, along with former AuGres Township Clerk Charles Jerome were found not guilty of perjury. The perjury charges were brought against the four by Rapp, who was originally representing them in an attempt to prosecute Curcio of assault and battery that allegedly occurred after a board of commissioners meeting. Curcio was found guilty of assault and battery, but then cleared of the charges when he appealed the decision. That is when Rapp alleged Kernstock, Lynch, Seder and Jerome committed the perjury.

Rapp was granted absolute governmental immunity last week based on his position as the Iosco County prosecuting attorney. However, Judge Thomas Evans also ruled that summary disposition could also be applied in Rapp’s case if he were not to be entitled to absolute immunity.

Lesneski was granted a lesser degree of governmental immunity based on his lower rank, and he received the same ruling of summary disposition being applied if the immunity were to not cover him for any reason.

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