Detroit Free Press

Marlinga: Some excerpts from letters and tapes

April 23, 2004

Excerpts from phone conversations and letters between Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga and Ralph Roberts that are included in the federal indictment. Punctuation and grammar are reproduced from the indictment.


By the end of 2001, Marlinga said publicly he would file a brief to overturn the rape conviction of Jeffrey Moldowan. Roberts wrote Marlinga two letters on Dec. 21, 2001.

In the first letter, Roberts wrote: "Thanks for what you've done with the Jeffrey Moldowan case and calling to confirm you're filing the supplemental pleading with the Supreme Court before the end of the year. I really appreciate that."

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In the second letter, Roberts wrote:

"I'm sending you my $2,000 check as we talked about. Also, I'll be looking toward helping you in the future. Thanks for all the different things you've helped me with over the years. Hopefully we can continue to help each other and also help the people of Macomb County -- and I guess in the future, the people of the state of Michigan."

Parts of a conversation Dec. 29, 2001:

Marlinga: "Hi Ralph, how are ya?"

Roberts: "The check's here for two thousand but I've already given you a couple other checks too. . . . I just didn't want to cause you a problem. Ralph Roberts and Carl in the newspaper together."

Marlinga: "Right."

Roberts: "We don't want that."

Roberts and Marlinga talked days after the May 15, 2002, Michigan Supreme Court decision that granted Moldowan a new trial. Parts of that conversation:

Marlinga: "First of all, congratulations to the Moldowan family and to you . . ."

Roberts: "I understand what you have to say, too Carl. I know you're, you're still the top guy in our county and you got to do your job."

Marlinga: "Yeah, and as long as the Moldowan family knows, that well, you know, th-, th-, th- they can read the Supreme Court order so they they know what I did."

Roberts: "They do. The first order your guys wanted to send up, without your changes, it (the Supreme Court order granting a new trial) wouldn't have happened."

Part of an Aug. 15, 2002, conversation the day the Free Press published a story about Roberts' contribution:

Marlinga: "Look it, just say the same thing that you ju-- just said to me, th th that basically, ah, you never asked me to, you know, do anything, uhm, that, uh, we did have conversations about the case in which you thought that he was innocent and I thought he was guilty, and uh, you know, ya-we we can't do anything other than tell the truth, so just tell the truth."


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