In The News

In The News

Sunday, September 20, 2020

“I’ll Deal With Nichols” says Michigan State Police’s so-called “scientist” who was at the helm as the Michigan State Police Datamaster Scandal Exploded

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drunk-Driving

Motions are being filed all over the state and more evidence is coming to the forefront that shows the leaders at the Michigan State Police (MSP) tried to hide the problems that have now mushroomed into a cancerous culture of hubris and sloth in the program. Remember, the Datamaster, DMT is the device that is usually the last step in a drunk driving (OWI) investigation and it is the most powerful evidence in a prosecutor’s case at trial. The “magic number,” right?

W. Mark Fondren is the point person at the MSP Breath Alcohol Unit. He was brought in on January 1, 2019 to make improvements in the unit starting with achieving calibration. The MSP breath alcohol program has never been accredited. In addition, the program lost 2 of the 3 experienced technicians who were performing all calibration and accuracy checks, maintenance and service calls right before September 1, 2018 when the inventor/manufacturer of the instrument formally passed the baton to the new “owner” – Intoximeters, Inc of St. Louis, Missouri.

The technician who was in charge of the datamaster DMT in the Mason County jail in Ludington and on the entire western side of the Lower Peninsula was David John. Mr. John is facing several felony charges for forgery and other misconduct in office allegations in Kalamazoo. It is clear that officials in the MSP, including Fondren, Sgt. Gina Gettel and Sgt. Dean York became increasingly concerned with not only John’s competency, but with his truthfulness.

Yet, while we have texts that include exchanges with Mr. John’s cohort on the eastern side of the lower peninsula, we do not have John’s texts/emails, yet. It is important because having Andrew Clark’s (the other tech) texts and emails with his MSP supervisors allows us to see the timing of when the MSP supervisors started to show concerns with Clark’s conduct as the technician AND to compare that to testimony by Fondren in mid-July, 2019 (thanks to the work of attorneys Neil Rockind and Colin Daniels in a case from the City of Troy). Fondren’s testimony under oath to Judge Andrea Larkin at that time was totally misleading and riddled with obfuscation, because it was clear from looking at the texts and emails that problems were clear and growing but yet Fondren told the judge that things were good at the MSP breath alcohol unit but that they always had “room to improve.”

We will keep digging. We need you to keep fighting. If you are arrested in Ludington or Mason County, please do not just plead guilty or let your friends plead guilty. The breath alcohol program cannot be let “off the hook” for this cover-up.

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.