Meet Christine Barry of Shiawassee County, Michigan. Christine is this week’s Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week and she has had to endure and conquer much in order to earn this coveted award.
Christine fought the law, and Christine won.
Specifically, Christine, who is but a lowly blogger and message board host took on the bullying, out-of-control sheriff in Shiawassee County.
After hearing reports in her county for months about assaults, intimidated deputies and complaints that went uninvestigated or disappeared, Ms. Barry began to ask questions.
Around the same time, the sheriff stopped providing information to the local newspaper because it ran a story about the problems in the department.
When her efforts to get answers were rebuffed, she worked with Chet Zarko, who is widely known in Michigan for his successes using the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. Zarko filed a FOIA and the documents Ms. Barry needed were finally available.
That’s the happy ending. No, wait. This is the happy ending.
Happy endings are good, but along the way, besides being stonewalled for about a year on a story of significant importance to the harmony and quality of life and law enforcement in her county, Ms. Barry had to go through a threat of a subpoena from the sheriff–who she was investigating–for the names of people who were posting information about him on a Shiawassee-focused community message board she hosts.
Christine Barry: An STOTW with nerves of steel, preternatural persistence, and results: An inspiration to all of us.