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OLC Obtains Order Shutting Down Entire Police Dept

For Immediate Release | Oct 13, 2014

Oakley, Michigan - After a two-day hearing and two days of no-shows by the Village of Oakley police chief, the Saginaw County Circuit Court ordered the immediate shut down of the Village of Oakley Police Department. The Department, as questioned in numerous articles over the past two years, has nearly a dozen regular officers and allegedly has over 100 reservists from counties hundreds of miles away. Oakley has 290 total citizens.

"It does not matter whether you are a citizen, a councilperson, or a police chief, you must follow the law," states attorney Philip L. Ellison. "Thumbing your nose at the rule of law demands the results of this case."

OLC represented Village of Oakley Trustee Francis Koski in a unique legal action seeking to 'restore legal authority' to the Village Council. After a 5-1 vote, the Village Council voted to shut down the police department until the Village had obtained lost police liability insurance. Instead, the Village Police Chief solicited donations from the reservists who paid over $25,000 in unregulated private funds to keep the department open without the vote or approval of the Village Council.

Other lawsuits by OLC question who are serving as reservists and who is donating thousands and thousands of dollars to the police department for a municipality smaller than the seating capacity of a typical high school basketball gymnasium? To date, the Village refuses to answer.

The Circuit Court, sitting in Saginaw, ordered the shut down of the police department until after the November 2014 elections at which time the newly elected village council can decide whether to reopen the department. Koski called the Court's decision an "absolute victory."

As for Ellison, the decision was a professionally unique experience. "How often does an attorney get to say he obtained an order shutting down an entire police department?"