Attorney General appoints Parks to case

MARQUETTE – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office has appointed a special prosecutor to review an incident involving an Alger County sheriff’s deputy.

Delta County Prosecutor Steve Parks received the appointment recently, but has not yet made a decision on whether to bring charges in the case.

A representative from his office would not say on Friday when Parks received the appointment and refused to elaborate on a possible timeline for a decision.

The Alger County deputy – his name has not been released – is facing possible charges and is accused of assaulting 55-year-old George Young, who was an inmate in the Alger County Jail at the time of the alleged December incident.

Alger County Sheriff Robert Hughes has confirmed an incident between Young and a deputy was investigated as an assault – he requested an external investigation by the Michigan Sheriffs Special Investigation Operations Network team. That team, made up of specially trained law enforcement officers from sheriff’s departments around the state, investigates both criminal and administrative complaints and is called in at the request of a local sheriff.

The deputy was placed on administrative leave following the alleged incident and Young was transferred to Schoolcraft County Jail at the request of his attorney, Brandon Rickard.

Young, a former employee of the HealthQuest chiropractic clinic in Munising, is facing eight charges of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, using force or coercion. The accusations are related to Young’s role as a chiropractor, but Rickard has contended that nothing inappropriate took place and that any touching of patients was “in the course of treatment and necessary.”

The attorney has said the deputy at the center of the investigation was the husband of an alleged victim. Rickard also contends that charges should be brought against a second deputy, who allegedly removed Young from his cell and transported him to an unsecured area.

Rickard has said he and Young intend to name two deputies and Alger County in a federal lawsuit.

The special prosecutor request came from Alger County Prosecutor Karen Bahrman’s office, as Bahrman has said she is “sufficiently well-acquainted” with the deputy in question.