Paad case dismissed; charges will be reissued
July 27, 2011 - Former Oxford Village Deputy Clerk Marion Patricia Paad no longer has any criminal charges against her – for now.
On Monday, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren granted a defense motion to dismiss without prejudice all of the embezzlement charges against Paad after the prosecutor indicated he was unable to begin the trial that day as scheduled due to his heavy caseload.
"She has nothing hanging over her head right now in terms of this case," said Paad's attorney, Denis McCarthy, whose practice is based in Metamora.
Prior to the dismissal, Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Jason Pernick made a motion for an adjournment, but the judge denied it.
Paad was facing five felony counts of embezzlement by a public official over $50. She was accused of embezzling approximately $3,300 in village property tax payments along with nearly $600 in funds belonging to the village police.
Because the case was dismissed without prejudice, these charges can and will be re-initiated against Paad, who was terminated by the village on March 31.
On Monday, Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton said the embezzlement charges will be reissued against Paad in "a couple days."
"In this case, there was a reasonable request for an adjournment (and) it wasn't granted, so the court dismissed (the case)," he said. "We'll rewrite it, we'll re-present it and we'll go from there."
Re-initiating the charges means going back to square one with a new arrest warrant, plus another arraignment and preliminary examination in Rochester Hills 52-3 District Court.
"We'll get the case bound over (to circuit court) again," Walton said.
McCarthy noted he told the judge he preferred to have the case dismissed with prejudice, which would have meant these charges could not be refiled against Paad.
"I thought the proofs were very weak," he said. "If the case wasn't weak, then there probably would have been some sort of a plea bargain."
Despite his opinion of the case's strength, McCarthy wasn't surprised the judge didn't dismiss the case with prejudice.
"Rarely will a court dismiss a case with prejudice," he said. "That's a very severe sanction to completely do away with a case. It's very, very rare for that to happen."
Even though charges can be reissued against Paad, Walton wasn't pleased with the judge's decision to dismiss the case.
"The court for, whatever its reasons, would not grant a reasonable request for adjournment," he said.
Walton noted "there were no prior adjournments" in the Paad case.
"We have never asked for an adjournment before (in this case)," he said. "We have never delayed this trial before."
Walton indicated the reason for Pernick's adjournment request boiled down to his heavy caseload, which he said the court was aware of.
"Defense attorneys are routinely given an adjournment if they are in trial (on other cases)," he said.
Pernick had just completed a trial on July 22 and is scheduled to begin homicide trial before Warren on July 28. Paad's trial was sandwiched between the two.
"And on top of this, (Pernick) is dealing with (the case involving) the Livonia police officer that was killed," Walton added. "The court, this same judge, is requesting a response on a series of motions before him. So, it's a pretty heavy trial docket right now."
Walton explained that when the July 25 trial date was originally set for Paad's case, Pernick informed the judge that it was a "bad time" given the other two trials and he requested it be moved "a little later."
"The (assistant prosecuting attorney) had been in contact with the court . . . and had indicated that stacking a couple of the trials (the way) they were was going to force us to ask for some type of an adjournment," Walton said. "The judge told him don't worry about it."
But that wasn't Warren's position when it came time for Paad's trial.
Although the county has a multitude of assistant prosecuting attorneys, Walton indicated they're not interchangeable.
"Contrary to popular belief we are not fungible," he said. "You can't plug any prosecutor into any court or with any case. You would not do that to a defense attorney, so I don't know why the courts insist on doing that with the prosecutors."
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.