Unionville woman says retail fraud plea shouldn’t cost her a gun license

Jodi Fetting addresses the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners during a public hearing Jan. 14, 2016, about combining the county clerk/register of deeds positions (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)
Jodi Fetting addresses the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners during a public hearing Jan. 14, 2016, about combining the county clerk/register of deeds positions (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)

A Unionville woman who pleaded guilty to stealing less than $200 worth of stuff from Walmart in Caro says she shouldn’t lose her concealed pistol license because of it.
Demae Rosenbum, 54, of Unionville, has asked Tuscola County Circuit Court Judge Amy Grace Gierhart to issue an order that would reverse revocation of her CPL by Tuscola County Clerk Jodi Fetting.
Rosenbum’s attorney, Duane Burgess, filed a claim of appeal last week that alleges Fetting improperly revoked Rosenbum’s CPL. Burgess did not return a call to The Advertiser Friday.
“Ms. Rosenbum received a letter from the County Clerk dated 6-29-16 revoking her CPL and requiring her to turn in her license,” Burgess wrote in the appeal, going on to identify the law that requires revocation of a CPL for a felony or misdemeanor conviction.
Burgess states the revocation is an error because there has “not yet been a conviction, but rather the sentence has been delayed.”
Rosenbum received a one-year delayed sentence last June after she pleaded guilty to third-degree retail fraud.
A delayed sentence essentially gives a defendant the opportunity to prove to the court his or her eligibility for probation or other leniency compatible with the ends of justice and the rehabilitation of the defendant.
“Therefore, a charge or conviction for retail fraud-third degree should not be the basis for the denial of a license nor the suspension or revocation of a license,” Burgess claims.
SEA copy of the original misdemeanor complaint filed with the appeal shows Rosenbum was charged with third degree retail fraud on May 31, 2016. It states she stole property from Walmart with a total value of less than $200. After she pleaded guilty, Rosenbum received her delayed sentence.
Fetting told The Advertiser she couldn’t comment on specific a CPL holder because the information is non-public.
However, Burgess included a letter from Fetting in his filing for Rosenbum.
“I have verified with the Michigan State Police CPL unit that the delay of sentence does not negate the revocation as the plea of guilty has been entered,” Fetting wrote in a letter to Burgess dated Jan. 13. “If the delay of sentence is successfully completed and the conviction is dismissed, your client will be able to reapply for a CPL license as long as she has not applied in the last year.”
Fetting told The Advertiser, that in general, when a guilty plea is entered to a “disqualifying charge,” Michigan State Police is notified through criminal history reporting.
MSP then notifies a county clerk to suspend or revoke a license, Fetting said.
Fetting said she has had to revoke CPLs previously.
She told The Advertiser she doesn’t know the total number of CPLs currently issued in Tuscola County.
Like county clerks across Michigan, managing CPLs were added to Fetting’s list of duties in late 2015.
That’s when Michigan’s CPL law changed and county gun boards were eliminated.
Today, if a license holder wishes to appeal a decision regarding a CPL — such as the one involving Rosenbum — it is handled at the circuit court level. That means the appeal formerly handled by the volunteer gun board that met once a month now requires the circuit court’s time — from those processing the paperwork to the circuit court judge.
Fetting said the appeal also would require involvement by the county’s attorney.
On Thursday, The Advertiser asked Tuscola County Controller Mike Hoagland for a list of current court proceedings in which the county is currently involved.
“Put a call into our insurance carrier they are reviewing their records,” Hoagland said. “As soon as they get back to me, I will forward information.”
The information had not been provided as of press time.
The Advertiser has written about at least two of the cases.
One involves Stephen Horn, a former inmate at the Tuscola County Jail who alleges he was given the wrong medication, and injured as a result, while incarcerated in Caro. The suit was filed November 2013.
The other case is in front of the Michigan Tax Tribunal and with regard to wind energy companies that are challenging the assessed value of wind turbines in Tuscola County.
Andrew Dietderich is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at andrew@tcadvertiser.com

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