Monday, July 10, 2006

Citizen Patriot editors: Mark Hunter got off easy

The editors of the Jackson Citizen Patriot have ripped Lenawee County prosecutors and judges a new one for letting ex-Columbia Twp. Police Chief Mark Hunter off easy for dozens of counts of child porn and possession of heroin in his Cambridge Twp. home.
Hunter is already serving 11 months in the Jackson County jail he plead no contest to charges of stealing a police department rifle and eavesdropping.
The eavesdropping stemmed from Hunter secretly video taping himself having sex with a female employee in his Columbia Township office. Hunter's Jackson County firearms stealing charge stemmed from Hunter taking police-seized guns and selling them.
On Friday, June 30, Lenawee Judge Timothy P. Pickard gave Hunter five years probation for all the crimes he committed at home.
"All in all, we would characterize that as a slap on the wrist. Hunter got his only hard time in Jackson, where he faced the less serious charges," the Citizen Patriot editors wrote in a Friday editorial.
Judge Pickard want to tack on more jail time for Hunter and instead let his probation period begin while he's in the Jackson County jail.
“The reason I'm not giving you jail time on that offense is that I don't want it to run concurrent,” Pickard told Hunter.

Lenawee County judges and longtime prosecutor Irving Shaw have drawn similar fire from some county residents in recent months for plea deals made with former Tecumseh high school track coach Matthew Petterson and his ex-Face Men male athletes.

The Jackson paper's editors say Hunter got off easy.
"We would suggest that there is a different standard of justice for police who violate the law they are sworn to uphold, but we suspect its roots lie in an institutional sympathy, not winking and nodding," the Citizen Patriot editorial board wrote. "We are idealistic enough to be disappointed in the outcome of this case -- but too realistic to be surprised."

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