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Planning commissioner charged with assault

May 19, 2010 - An Oxford Township official well-known for her strong pro-rural stance concerning planning and zoning issues was arrested Friday, May 14 for allegedly striking her former sister-in-law.

Planning Commissioner Kallie Roesner, who also serves as chairperson of the Zoning Board of Appeals and sits on the township water and sewer committee, was charged with assault and battery, a misdemeanor.

However, Roesner claims she was the one who was assaulted by her former sister-in-law. "She pushed me into the corner," she told this reporter during a May 18 phone interview. "I have broken bones and multiple contusions."

All of Roesner's positions with the township are appointed, not elected. She's served on the ZBA since 1995 and planning commission since 1999.

The 45-year-old Roesner was arraigned May 14 before Judge Julie Nicholson in Rochester Hills 52-3 District Court and released on a $500 personal bond.

Roesner's next court appearance is a pretrial conference scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 19 before District Judge Nancy Carniak.

"Everything will straighten itself out," Roesner told this reporter.

Deputies were dispatched to Roesner's home on Delano Rd. following a 9-1-1 call.

Oakland County Sheriff's Lt. Larry Perry indicated a dispute over property is what sparked a conflict between Roesner and her ex-husband, a 50-year-old Oxford man. The couple was divorced in January, according to Oakland County Circuit Court records.

Roesner's former sister-in-law, a 44-year-old Howell Township resident, was at the home helping the ex-husband pack his belongings into a portable storage container when an argument ensued between Roesner and her ex-husband, according to the sheriff's report.

Both in the report and in her interview with this reporter, Roesner maintained that all she was doing was photographing and documenting the property being removed from the home by her ex-husband.

When the former sister-in-law attempted to intervene in the argument between the ex-couple, Roesner allegedly struck her in the shoulder area of her right arm, resulting in a red mark, the report stated.

When deputies arrived, the former sister-in-law was "hiding" in the storage container, the report stated.

In the report, Roesner stated she struck her former sister-in-law in the shoulder, but only after the former sister-in-law struck her in the head with a tool box, then placed her hand on her shoulder and asked her to leave.

She also told the deputy that her ex-husband slammed the tool box lid on her hand.

Roesner told this reporter she did not initiate any physical contact and described the alleged attack by her former sister-in-law as "absolutely unprovoked."

"I was taking a picture when I was assaulted," she said. "She hit me across the face with the tool box and smashed me into the wall. I happened to be taking a picture at the time I was hit and I have a picture of her arm slamming into my shoulder and pinning me in the room."

According to Roesner, after her former sister-in-law "grabbed my shoulder and pushed me into the wall," she did a "straight-arm release," a self-defense technique, "to disengage her hand from my shoulder."

"She put her hands on me," Roesner told this reporter. "All I did was push myself away."

After this incident, Roesner said she "immediately exited the area" and waited in the barn until deputies arrived.

During his interview with Roesner, the deputy observed no signs of injury on her and she told the officer she had no injuries, the report stated.

"No signs of head trauma or trauma to her body were visibly noticed and were never mentioned by Kallie," the deputy wrote.

After being informed of her bond conditions at the arraignment, the report stated that Roesner told the deputy that her wrist was broken and her leg hurt because her former sister-in-law allegedly hit and kicked her.

"I asked why she did not complain of the injuries when we were on scene at her house, Kallie had no answer," the deputy wrote.

The deputy observed "no obvious signs of injury" on Roesner and saw her use the wrist that she claimed was broken while making a phone call, the report stated.

In her interview with this reporter, Roesner claimed she sustained a whole list of injuries as a result of her former sister-in-law's alleged assault on her.

"I had to go to the hospital," she said noting she suffered a cervical sprain; multiple contusions to the hands, wrist and head; left shoulder contusions; and a possible wrist fracture. "The list kind of goes on and on."

Although not related to the alleged assault, the deputy noted in this report that he observed two marijuana plants growing in Roesner's barn.

According to the report, Roesner told him they were for a medical purpose and that she had the proper documentation.

The sheriff's report did not indicate whether the deputy asked to see this documentation or if Roesner ever showed it to him.

When this reporter asked about the marijuana plants, Roesner replied, "Anything related to that is confidential and should not be disclosed to anybody."

"I'm not going to comment on that because that information is confidential," Roesner said.

In the report, the deputy also noted that Roesner told him she was taking "psychotropic medications" for a condition, "but would not say what the condition was or what medications she was on."

Roesner claimed that part of the report is completely false.

"I'm not on medication and I never said that to the deputy," she told this reporter.

When asked if the assault charge against Roesner will affect her future as an appointed township official, Supervisor Bill Dunn said, "That will depend on what happens in court."

"I can't speak for the township board, but I know I'm not going to make any decisions or take any action until the legal process is finished," he said. "Everybody's entitled to due process."

According to "Authorities & Responsibilities of Michigan Township Officials, Boards and Commissions," published by the Michigan Townships Association, the township board has the legal authority to remove appointed officials.

"Appointed board and commission members may be removed by the appointing authority, with or without cause, and with or without a public hearing, depending on statutes that provide for the board or commission and depending upon written or implied employment policies of the township," the book stated.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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