In the news:
- Mlive/Saginaw News "After federal raid on chief's home, Oakley puts an end to police department" 10/11/2017
- ABC12 "Oakley decides to not renew police chief contract in wake of federal raid on his home" 10/11/2017
- Associated Press/Seattle Times "Village to end police contract after chief’s home raided" 10/11/2017
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Village settles after official’s alleged sexual harassment -- Man objected to police chief’s treatment of waitress" 07/21/2017
- ABC12 "Oakley lawsuit tied to police reserves settled" 07/05/2017
- Argus-Press "Bittermans, Oakley settle 2013 lawsuit for $100K" 07/07/2017
Summary of the case:
For 2 generations the Bittermans had a small family owned restaurant in the small Village of Oakley. In 2013, they employed a young woman who went to her boss, Dennis Bitterman for help, reporting to him that the Chief of the Police Department started sexually harassing and stalking. When Dennis stepped in to protect her, and told the Chief of Police to stop, the Chief waged war against Bitterman’s business, Oakley Family Tavern, and used his power and political clout to try to destroy the Bitterman’s business.
The response shocked the small business owners. As Dennis testified at his deposition “All of this stuff started after I made that complaint with him. [The chief] called and threatened me on the phone he was going to shut my business down and have my dumb-ass daughter in jail, he’s going to go to zero tolerance on me…”
The Saginaw County Circuit Court Judge saw that this was a direct evidence case as stated in the Court’s Opinion and Order dated 12/29/16, where the Court actually quoted the testimony of Dennis Bitterman.
Two weeks before the Trial was to begin, Dennis Bitterman was finally vindicated for doing the right thing when a settlement was reached with the Village of Oakley for $100,000.