Assault charge dismissed against Michigan tribal police chief

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (AP) 3-08

Prosecutors have dismissed an assault charge against the suspended police chief of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians on condition that he stay out of trouble.

Fred Paquin, 50, reached an agreement with the state attorney general’s office that was filed in district court during late February.

Paquin must refrain from any assaultive or threatening behavior for six months and seek counseling, The Evening News reported. If he violates the terms, the misdemeanor charge could be reinstated.

Tribal Chairman Aaron Payment issued a statement urging everyone involved to move forward if Paquin abides by the agreement.

“My desire all along has been justice and to protect the victim,” Payment said.

Paquin was charged in October after a woman told state police he struck her head and yanked her hair after she told him to stop kissing and groping her. Defense attorney Joseph Kwiatkowski said Paquin acted in self-defense.

Paquin was suspended as police chief and later resigned as board chairman with the tribe’s Greektown Casino in Detroit, but remained a member of the tribe’s board of directors. He still was under suspension as police chief Monday, tribal spokesman Cory Wilson said.

Kwiatkowski said he and Paquin were grateful to the attorney general’s office for exercising “appropriate prosecutorial discretion under the facts and circumstances of this case.”