AG agrees with defense motion to set aside Ian Elliott plea agreement
After an internal investigation of former Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she will concur with a defense motion to set aside Ian Elliott’s plea agreement in a sexual assault case.
After the motion is filed, it is up to the judge to decide whether Elliott’s plea agreement will be set aside, according to AG Communications Director Kelly Rossman-McKinney. The case will not be dismissed, she said.
Elliott pleaded no contest to one count of third-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Isabella County Trial Court on Aug. 2. He was sentenced to a minimum of 366 days in prison, which he is currently serving in the St. Louis Correctional Facility.
“In the end, today does not reflect the truthfulness of the victims in these cases but rather the consequence of a prosecutor who failed in his sacred duty to properly administer justice in our legal system,” Nessel said in a press release. “A prosecutor has the solemn responsibility to vindicate the rights of the victim while ensuring that those accused of a crime are given a fair trial. These two things are inextricably intertwined and sacrificing the latter to advance the interests of the former – in the end – defeats both.
"I hope that my actions here today are not viewed as a failure of our criminal justice system but – instead – a reflection of my commitment to the fundamental principles upon which it is based.”
Kolodziej resigned in September after it was discovered that he had an inappropriate relationship with a victim in Elliott’s criminal sexual assault case. He was the lead prosecutor. The investigation into Kolodziej took nearly two months, according to the press release.
“In my opinion, Elliott could never get a fair trial again, based on the behavior of Kolodziej, not only with the complaining witness but in his interactions with other witnesses,” Elliott’s defense attorney Joe Barberi said. “From my perspective, (Nessel’s statement is) a good start. We need to have a resolution of this case that isn’t based on starting over and trying to get a fair trial.”
Barberi said he is receiving a copy of the internal investigation into Kolodziej's actions and will proceed after reviewing the documents.