Although former Montmorency County Magistrate Kim Dobbyn currently is serving her 90-day sentence in jail, her days in court linger on.
Special Prosecutor William Pfeifer and defense attorney Michael Cronkright are still interviewing witnesses who will help Judge William Fagerman determine what a fair restitution amount will be for Dobbyn to pay. Dobbyn was required to pay $20,000 prior to her incarceration in order to comply with a prearranged sentencing agreement.
The first hearing was scheduled for May 12, but had to be canceled. Wednesday the two sides questioned state Supreme Court Auditor Lee Pochert and Michigan State Police Detective Kevin Day about what the findings were that led to Dobbyn's arrest.
"We listened to Mr. Pochert testimony and put the evidence on exhibit and it shows that roughly $120,000 was missing," Pfeifer said. "The defense will probably have another whole day to cross examine him and then I will get some more time too. Then we will have the detective who was in charge of the case and that probably won't take as long, but we probably have at least two full days left before a determination is decided upon. There may also be a few other court employees who may take the stand, because the defense is trying to convince the judge that other employees could have taken some of the money as well."
Pfeifer said he is asking the judge for a large sum of money that could reach into the six figure range. He is going to try to recoup money that was embezzled from marriage license sales and ticket payments to the court.
"I'm asking for the the marriage license fees and the money that was missing from civil infraction money," he said. "The fine money may be a little harder to determine an amount, but I figure the average cost was $60 and there were 233 of them, so if we are awarded the amount I hope we are, it will be substantial."
No matter what the entire saga is coming to its concussion soon. Pfeifer said the proceeding have entered the home stretch.
"I know there will be at least two days and you never know for sure how it will go," Pfeifer said. "It could linger on another day or day and a half, it depends. The judge is giving the defense every opportunity to plead their case and I can't fault them for that."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.