The testimony of Dale Fisher once put a former prosecutor and Michigan attorney in prison. Fisher claimed that Clarence Gomery solicited him and paid him to kill a legal rival. Now in prison himself, Fisher is retracting his story. Fisher now says that it was the legal rival that conspired with him to set up Gomery. Based on the information, Gomery has made a motion in the 13th Circuit Court in Grand Traverse County, Michigan to ask a new judge to throw out the conviction against him.
Fisher said that the rival, also an attorney, had blackmail on Fisher that he used to coerce Fisher to be a part of his plan. Fisher says that the rival and alleged victim threatened to report him for having sex with an underage relative. Fisher says that he went along with the plan to frame Gomery, but that the alleged victim had him charged anyways.
To make the case even more puzzling is the timeline of the charges against supposed hit man Fisher. Only a week after Gomery’s original sentence, Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney brought charges against Fisher for allegations of retail fraud for stealing cell phones from Walmart. Fisher’s actions that led to the charges allegedly happened months prior. There’s no explanation for why prosecutor Cooney held off on issuing charges.
As part of the retail fraud case, prosecutor Cooney also agreed not to bring the criminal sexual conduct charges against Fisher that relate to the alleged victim’s relative. Agreeing not to charge a criminal sexual conduct charge in order to secure a retail fraud conviction is enough to raise eyebrows. However, a short time later, Cooney brought the charges anyways. Cooney has not admitted to knowing about any scheme between Fisher and the alleged victim. However, the alleged victim previously served as the attorney for a Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s sergeant defending allegations of use of force.
In his court filings, Gomery also says that 13th Circuit Court judge Philip Rodgers promised him a lighter sentence than he received. Gomery says that his attorney and prosecutor Bob Cooney met with Judge Rodgers in chambers where Rodgers made the promise. He claims that Rodgers promised a harsher sentence if Gomery took his case to trial. If that claim is true, the judge was in violation of Michigan judicial ethics that prohibit judges from penalizing defendants for exercising their constitutional right to a trial.