Ex-Troy city manager gets probation for assault

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
Brian Kischnick

Troy – A former Troy city manager was sentenced Monday to 15 months reporting probation, a 40-week domestic violence program and substance abuse monitoring for tackling his 28-year-old girlfriend and driving her face into the ground outside her Clawson address during a March 9 argument.

Former Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick, 50,  entered a no-contest plea last month before in Clarkston 52-2nd District Court before Judge Kelley Kostin, essentially the same as a guilty plea but without benefit of a trial or appeal.

Kischnick was fired in March, two days after the Clawson incident. He nearly was sentenced to jail in March after violating a bond condition and phoning the victim.

"I'm sorry for the bond violation, I'm sorry for my actions the night of March 9," a contrite Kischnick told Kostin before sentencing.

Kischnick said he has had the opportunity to think about events and said he wanted to put the past behind him and get on with his life.

"Your behavior that night was inexcusable," said Kostin, who added Kischnick's actions went "beyond the normal" average domestic violence case.

Before he was sentenced, his victim tearfully told Kostin "it wasn't the first time" KIschnick had put his hands on her and said she remains "traumatized." She noted how Kischnick had tried to blame her for an incident "he created." She said after he pushed her down twice on the ground, several neighbors who witnessed the incident rushed to her aid and called police.

"'Now look what you did,'" she recalled Kischnick telling her that night.

Kischnick has declined several interview requests from The News and others about the incident but prior to his firing, wrote a letter to the Troy Council denying any assault took place. He explained the couple had been out to dinner and drinking and got into an argument. Witnesses claim they saw Kischnick tackle the woman and throw her to the ground.

In his letter, Kischnick explained to city council: “As the situation escalated, I attempted to calm her down, diffuse the situation, defend myself and prevent harm to her and I. As we continued toward our destination, I was holding her to protect us and get there safely. We fell to the ground at least two times. The fact is I never hit her, abused her, threw her to the ground or harmed her. I was only trying to calm her down and make sure she arrived home safely.”

His attorney, Anjali Prasad, described the "assaultive behavior as an abberration" in her client's life and asked Kostin to consider a lighter sentence -- six months probation and 26 weeks in a domestic violence program. She had earlier told reporters she was against the no-contest plea and would have preferred to take the case to trial but said Kischnick “wants to spare (the victim) becoming a spectacle like he has become.”

The victim said reading news reports with those comments upset her and said she was confident that if witnesses had testified at a trial, Kischnick would have been found guilty.

Kostin said the victim "was obviously terrified and she was traumatized." The judge said she believed, despite Kischnick's denials, that he has an issue with substance abuse.

Kostin said she would put a 30-day jail sentence in abeyance pending successful completion of the 15-month probation period, during which Kischnick will not only meet regularly with a probation officer but also submit to random testing. He must pay nearly $700 in court fines and fees, have no contact with the victim and engage in no assaultive behavior.

The couple previously worked together at Troy City Hall and Kischnick was her immediate supervisor.

Kischnick was hired by Troy in 2012 after serving as Tittabawassee Township manager. His contract as Troy’s $161,000-a-year city manager had been extended this past summer.

Kischnick was the focus of a city hall probe two years ago for an unreported accident involving a city car, which he drove while collecting a gas allowance from the city while supposedly driving his own vehicle.

The probe focused on questionable expenditures by Kischnick, including thousands of dollars he spent on personal meals, pricey cell-phone accessories he passed out as gifts to workers, and passes he arranged that permitted selected nonresidents and their families to use city recreational facilities.

After a two-month investigation by an outside attorney regarding the above concerns and allegations about Kischnick raised by city workers, officials said they found no criminal offenses had occurred and no disciplinary action was required against Kischnick. He agreed to reimburse the city for $1,000 in repairs caused in the traffic accident.

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