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Posted on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

Augusta Township clerk appears in court on eavesdropping charges

By John Counts

Kathy_Giszczak.jpg

Kathy Giszczak

From Kathy Giszczak's campaign website

The same day her victorious primary election results were upheld, Augusta Township Clerk Kathy Giszczak appeared briefly in court on felony eavesdropping charges.

Accompanied by her attorney Douglas Mullkoff, Giszczak asked Judge Donald Shelton in the Washtenaw County Trial Court Tuesday for a new pretrial date. Mullkoff also announced the defense's plan to file a motion to quash, which would nullify the district court's ruling to bind the case over to the circuit court, essentially dismissing it.

Shelton scheduled the next pretrial hearing date for Oct. 9.

In the August primary, Giszczak beat Iva Jo Bielec 304-343. Bielec filed for a recount, but the results were upheld Tuesday and Giszczak will be the Democratic candidate for clerk in November.

Meanwhile, Giszczak is facing one charge each of eavesdropping and divulging information obtained by eavesdropping.

Giszczak allegedly recorded a conversation between Augusta Township Supervisor Pete Hafler and former Deputy Treasurer Janice Blair. Giszczak allegedly played part of that conversation for township Treasurer Angela Sherbine.

Blair contended in a wrongful termination lawsuit that the portions of the conversation played for Sherbine resulted in her losing her job. The allegations surfaced during a wrongful termination lawsuit Blair filed against the township.

If convicted, Giszczak faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

John Counts covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at johncounts@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.

Comments

PineyWoodsGuy

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 4:29 a.m.

@ Susie Q. Yep! Ya got that right! Folks that live in Augusta Twp consider politics to be a "sport." They have generated more petty political fights than all the other 19 townships, 4 cities (Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline and Milan) and 3 villages (Manchester, Dexter and Barton Hills) put together. I attribute this to the fact that Cable TV is not available in Augusta Twp. So, for "fun," they engage in the "skewering" of their elected officials. Sawicki and Son make a lot of money selling "Vote For" signs to "civic minded" Augustinians.

augustataxpayer

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

Huh guess i dont have high speed internet or hbo well why am i paying comcast bills every month db

justcurious

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Here is a more recent picture from the Ypsilanti Press. http://heritage.com/content/articles/2012/05/03/ypsilanti_courier/news/doc4fa2c2512ebc44526907631.jpg

Cathy

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

Wow, that's quite a difference. Reminds me of the time I asked my 60-something mother-in-law for a picture for a family tree I was putting together. She sent me her high school graduation picture.

Elijah Shalis

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

I didn't know public officials could have private conversations at work on the public dollar. These charges should be thrown out.

kraiford12

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

They are still people and PEOPLE have a reasonable expectation to privacy in certain situations. Just because you work a "public" job doesn't mean you're constantly under the scope of the public.

Basic Bob

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Working sessions and employee evaluations are not public. Cuff her.

Barb's Mom

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

"In the August primary, Giszczak beat Iva Jo Bielec 304-343. " When I learned math, 343 would be higher than 304?

Susie Q

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

I don't know how many readers have followed the political shenanigans in Augusta Township (I don't live there, but I regularly read the newspaper), but these dirty tricks have been going on for probably fifteen to twenty years at least. There are frequent charges and counter-charges of harassment, financial irregularities, incompetence, nepotism, assault and apparently now, eavesdropping. Augusta.....can't you all just get along?

Hemenway

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

More like 40 years, I was there in the late 80s.

GP

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 5:47 a.m.

And I would have gotten away with it if it were't for you metaling kids!

PineyWoodsGuy

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 3:10 a.m.

@ Roos. Cos she is thinking back to her teen days @ Lincoln High. In her mind she is still a teengirl! ALL politicians post their "young" photos. Some of yer "pols" actually look like "Death Warmed Over." Morbidly Obese, etc. Too much potatoes into their pie hole. Dig?

John Roos

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

Why is does Kathy's photo look like it was taken from a 1950's high school year book?

augustataxpayer

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

She looks like a lunch mom...lol

PineyWoodsGuy

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:57 a.m.

Electronic technology is moving at warp speed; politicians have not kept up with the tech. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits anyone to obtain all emails sent on govt computers and govt-paid cell phones. If FOIA were to be exercised by citizens, half the politicians in this county could find themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

Michigan Reader

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

I think it's a question of fact, (to be decided by a jury) not a question of law as to whether it was a private conversation.

Michigan Reader

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

I don't know the facts in this case, but you can have a private conversation in a public place. The law forbids the recording of that conversation, and the dissemination of it. But, I'm no lawyer.