Rotta appeals denial for police shooting reports

April 5, 2013

LUDINGTON — Ludington resident Tom Rotta is appealing a denial by the Ludington Police Department for information regarding a police shooting that took place last summer.

Rotta had requested, through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, to inspect or receive copies of records in the case against Lowell Fetters. On June 26, 2012, Fetters allegedly shot Ludington Police Sgt. David Maltbie and also shot at other LPD and Mason County Sheriff’s Department personnel after they responded to a disturbance complaint at Fetter’s home on North Delia Street.

Fetters, who was also shot during the incident, faces life in prison if convicted on 32 charges stemming from the shootout. Investigation of the shooting incident has been turned over the Michigan State Police.

Lowell Fetters

Lowell Fetters

Rotta made his request via a March 14 email to City Manager John Shay, carbon copied to Police Chief Mark Barnett. He requested to review police reports including any interviews, investigations, documentary evidence, photos and the like from the incident.

The city denied the request on March 19 stated requested records are investigative records compiled for law enforcement purposes and disclosures would interfere with law enforcement proceedings, deprive a person of the right to a fair trial or impartial administrative adjudication, constitute unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or disclose the identify of a confidential source or disclose confidential information furnished by a confidential source.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola and Fetters’ attorney David Glancy, stated that turning over any records at this time may prejudice a fair trial.

“As Mr. Fetter’s defense counsel, I would object to complying with the request at this time as I believe release of such information would potentially affect my client’s defense to such charges and his ability to receive a fair trial,” Glancy stated.

Rotta will be able to be heard by City Council during its regular meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m.

 

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