Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

July 13, 2013

Sheriff's son pleads guilty to DWI charge

TRAVERSE CITY — The son of Kalkaska County’s sheriff pleaded guilty to a drunken driving misdemeanor charge.

Frank Israel, 20, son of Sheriff Dave Israel, was arrested April 25 after he rolled his vehicle near the intersection of M-72 and Hill Road. Michigan State Police logged Israel’s blood alcohol content at .14 following the accident, according to police records.

Frank Israel was charged with a misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated. That charge was dismissed after he pleaded guilty to operating while visibly impaired this month.

Both drunken driving misdemeanors carry possible jail sentences of up to 93 days, but the operating while visibly impaired charge carries lesser driving sanctions.

A sentencing hearing is pending, said Craig Elhart, Frank Israel’s attorney.

Walter Sbresny, a Kalkaska County resident, obtained law enforcement records that detailed Israel’s arrest through the state Freedom of Information Act.

He contends Frank Israel received special treatment because he was not charged with additional offenses following his arrest, and because prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to the lesser DWI charge.

“We’re just looking for equal justice and equal law enforcement for everyone,” Sbresny said.

Dave Israel deferred comment to Kalkaska County Undersheriff Abe DeVol.

DeVol pointed out his department stood by while state police officers investigated the crash, and the prosecutor and judge assigned to the case were appointed from outside Kalkaska County.

“Therefore, there could be no conspiracy that we covered anything up,” DeVol said. “Frank Israel is a citizen of this county just like everyone else.”

DeVol questioned Sbresny’s motives for contacting area media representatives.

“He has a current case in Kalkaska County and it’s very apparent he has a personal vendetta with Sheriff Israel,” DeVol said.

Sbresny, a medical marijuana grower, caregiver and patient, is awaiting trial in Kalkaska County for alleged medical marijuana law violations.

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