Now that the allegations against ousted Grand Traverse County Jail Administrator have been made public, I understand the attention that the previous articles have gotten on the topic. The allegations are like, whoa.
The thing that sticks out to me is that Brandon Veenstra is mentioned in the report. You’ll recall that corrections officer Brandon Veenstra was charged with willful neglect of duty for passing notes between inmates. But then the charges were abruptly dropped. Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg dismissed the case saying that, “Upon further investigation,” there wasn’t enough evidence that Veenstra knew that there was a no contact order between the inmates he helped pass notes.
So fast forward to the report about Todd Ritter. Brandon Veenstra is in it. The report says that Brandon Veenstra knew about Ritter’s alleged relationships with inmates. The report also says that Ritter talked to the inmate and after that conversation, the inmate was no longer willing to speak about the alleged relationship.
Please, please, please can we get a tell-all from Brandon Veenstra? Was Veenstra a whistle blower, or did he simply know too much? Any why didn’t Prosecutor Moeggenberg know the entire story or care to know the entire story before she charged Veenstra with a crime? Dismissing the charges on the grounds of Veenstra not knowing about a no-contact order between the parties is disingenuous. That can’t possibly be the truth of why they dismissed the charges. If the prosecutor issued the charges without knowing the entire story, shame on them. If they issued the charges knowing the entire story and trying to let Veenstra take the fall, oh my goodness. Will we ever know the truth?
Other allegations about Ritter include:
- Contacting an ex inmate through Tinder. Did they both swipe right?
- Offering marijuana to an ex inmate
- Giving an ex inmate drug test kits — What would the purpose of that be? Would that be a way to help someone cheat drug tests or check their urine to ensure they test clean?
- Traveling to a hotel with an ex inmate and submitting the bill as a work expense
- Asking an ex inmate to go to a bar while they were ordered not to because of probation orders
- Frolicking on duty by bringing coffee to an ex inmate
- Basement booty in the Grand Traverse County government center with someone on probation
- Favoritism for certain female inmates
- “Voluminous” sexual content on a county-issued cell phone. (Some of which would even make Dennis Mikko blush.)
Grand Traverse County Jail
People have commented that the Grand Traverse County Jail is run like a military operation. What do they mean when they say that? That you’re not to question authority? That inmates are treated like political prisoners instead of human beings? What?
What charges could Todd Ritter face?
Ritter may face charges of willful neglect of duty, MCL 750.478. Ironically, that’s the same charge that they put on Brandon Veenstra. That’s a misdemeanor. There’s also obstruction of justice. That charge is a little more obscure because it isn’t even completely defined. However, it is a felony. Perhaps he could also face charges of assault and battery, larceny by trick (the false hotel check) or criminal sexual misconduct 4th-degree force/coercion? There could be a lot of counts.
And what of who knew about what was going on? The report says that many people did know and object to the favoritism that went on among certain female inmates. Who knew and did nothing? Could they, too, be charged with willful neglect of duty?
This town is the foxes running the hen house.