Court employee pleads guilty to lying to police, remains employed.

February 4, 2019

Court employee pleads guilty to lying to police, remains employed.

#MasonCountyNews.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — An employee of the 79th District Court recently pleaded guilty in that court to the misdemeanor of providing false information to a police officer. The employee, Rosemary Saucedo- Narvaez, 52, of Ludington, continues to be employed by the court as a clerk. 

The charges stem from a Jan. 7, 2019 vehicle crash that occurred about 6 a.m. at the intersection of Ludington and Washington avenues. Saucedo- Narvaez’s husband, Alfonso Narvaez, 41, was driving a vehicle eastbound on Ludington Avenue when he struck a vehicle traveling northbound on Washington Avenue. According to a report from the Ludington Police Department, the northbound vehicle drove through the red light and Narvaez had the right-of-way. However, Narvaez did not stop following the crash and left the scene.

The impact caused the northbound vehicle, driven by Cory Robert Hernandez, 41, to “spin around” and disabling the vehicle. On the scene, Hernandez told police officers that the lights were blinking and that his vehicle slipped on the ice causing it to not stop. Hernandez said he pulled his vehicle to the side of the street on Washington Avenue and a witness called 911. Hernandez was cited for not having proof of insurance and was given a warning for failing to yield the right-of-way.

A few hours later, Rosemary Saucedo- Narvaez came into the Ludington Police Department station and asked to speak to an officer. She told Officer Jacob Miller that she was driving the vehicle and that her insurance agent had told her that she did not need to stop at the scene of an accident, according to her statement in the police report.

“I informed Rosemary that if she is in an accident she needs to stop and make sure there are no injuries,” Miller stated in his report. “Rosemary apologized and said that she had been told otherwise.”

On Jan. 9, Officer Miller asked Saucedo- Narvaez to come in for an additional interview. During the interview, Saucedo- Narvaez told Miller that she was driving her husband to work, in southern Pere Marquette Township. During this interview, she told Miller that she did not stop because she looked back and “saw that the other vehicle left the scene.” She then stated that she continued down the road and took her husband to work, again confirming that she was driving.

“After speaking with Rosemary about her story, I informed her that I believed she was being deceptive,” Miller stated in the police report. “I informed Rosemary that parts of her story did not match my investigation. I requested that Rosemary inform me of what actually happened the morning of the crash. Rosemary began crying and informed me that she was not driving the truck. Rosemary stated that her husband was driving the vehicle and was in the vehicle alone. Rosemary stated she was at home when the accident occurred.”

Miller continued in his report, “She stated that soon after the accident Alfonso Narvaez called her and she told him that she would pick up his truck (from work) and drive it to the Ludington Police Department, take the blame for the accident… Rosemary stated that Alfonso is an undocumented immigrant and he is not ‘legal’. She said that he does not have a driver’s license either. She stated that she is afraid that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will deport Alfonso if he gets in any trouble. Rosemary stated that she cannot care for her grandchildren and pay for the house without Alfonso’s income. She stated that if Alfonso is deported she will become homeless.”

Miller said he then asked Saucedo-Narvaez if her husband was willing to come to the department and speak to him. She informed Miller that her husband struggles with speaking English and may need a translator. Miller arranged for a police officer from Hart Police Department to come to Ludington to translate. When Narvaez showed up, Miller said Narvaez spoke English well enough to not require the translator. During the interview Narvaez confirmed that he had been driving the vehicle and left the scene.

“He stated that he knew leaving the scene of an accident was illegal but he left because he was afraid of getting deported.”

A warrant was requested by LPD for Rosemary Saucedo-Narvaez for filing a false police report and to Narvaez for leaving the scene of an accident.

Saucedo- Narvaez was found guilty for filing a false police report/or statement to police, on Jan. 28 and sentenced to $275 in fines and fees. Typically, filing a false police report is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. However, Saucedo-Narvaez information on Saucedo-Narvaez’s arraignment was not furnished to MCP, as is standard practice by the court. The signature of the judgement of sentence is of Lake County Magistrate Gregory Block.

Charges against Narvaez were dismissed. According to court documents, he was listed under the name Francisco Sanchez and had been arraigned for one count of operating with a forged/altered/false license was dismissed Jan. 11 (the arraignment information had not been provided to MCP, which is normal practice by the courts). A note on his court record states: “Defendant has presented proof that his real name is Alfonso Narvaez. Therefore, People cannot prove he made a false statement to law enforcement. Defendant has pleaded to the underlying charge,” his court file states.

The crash was not Narvaez’s first. On Dec. 7, 2017, he pleaded guilty in 79th District Court for failure to display a valid driver’s license and was sentenced to one day in jail with credit for one day served, and $275 in fines/costs. His conviction was reportable to the Michigan Secretary of State office.

Saucedo-Narvaez remains employed by the district court, an employee of the county. The County of Mason employee handbook, under Section 210: Background Checks, part H, states that employment may be suspended and/or terminated if the employee is convicted of a felony involving sexual misconduct or an act of violence, which neither were the case involving Saucedo-Narvaez. However, section H also states “All other convictions types will be reviewed for job relatedness and also reviewed by a labor attorney if necessary.”

A request to the county administrator about whether Saucedo-Narvaez will remain employed by the county has not been answered as of posting.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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