When these protective parent cases starts, as the story unfolds, the cast of characters eventually starts to become evident. In the case of Sandra Rucki on trial with $1 Million Bail for felony deprivation of custody charges, Rucki’s attorney Michelle MacDonald actually had the kahunas to ask the criminal court to appoint her as public defender and pay her fee through Dakota County. Now that’s the common practice among protective parent criminal attorneys. The defendant will claim she is indigent and the public defender will represent the protective parent. The attorney will often ask the court to be added to the defense team claiming that public defender does not have the skills in these cases. Fortunately, the judge denied MacDonald’s request.
MacDonald has also attempted to collect over $200,000 in legal fees in liens from her client Sandra Rucki. When Rucki was arrested, she may have had some money in a bank account that was frozen. The liens might be a tactic so that Sandra Rucki could claim she is indigent.
Meanwhile, Stephen Grigsby has replaced Michelle MacDonald as the criminal attorney of record (although we doubt it’s the last we have heard of MacDonald). Grisgby has a history of conflicts with the courts having been suspended by the Minnesota Bar several times.
MacDonald bills Grazzini-Rucki over $222,000 for ‘pro bono’ legal work by Michael Brodkorb (StarTribune, 11-19-2015)
Editor’s Note: As this story unfolds, it is possible that Michelle MacDonald may be the Protective Parent Attorney for the Minnesota Area. MacDonald, a former Minnesota Supreme Court Candidate may have assisted in sending the Rucki teenage girls into hiding. It’s possible that will be Sandra Rucki’s defense. Rucki was given the advice of her attorney and the protective parent groups. MacDonald’s former campaign manager, Dede Evavold made the arrangements.