Court records show Edenville Dam owner has criminal history

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 6:25 PM EDT
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New information about the company who owns the now-destroyed Edenville Dam.

One of the owners, Lee Mueller, has had disputes with governments and property owners for years on how he has operated the dams.

But he has also had legal trouble.

On two occasions, Lee Mueller took exception when people were parking on and near Edenville Dam property, so police say he took matters into his own hands.

In 2013, a Gladwin County Sheriff's Department report we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act indicates the 71 year-old Mueller drove his own vehicle and rammed a pick-up truck, with passengers inside, several times.

The victims admitted he and his friends were preparing to fish near the Edenville Dam and knew they had parked on the dam's property. One of the passengers complained of neck pain after the owner of the dam rammed the pick-up.

Mueller told the detective he rammed the pick-up truck because he worried the vehicle, if parked, would prevent him from leaving the property.

Mueller plead no contest to malicious destruction of property, was sentence to a year in jail, but served no time in jail.

A year later, there was another incident.

"Sounds like someone was smashing the windows out of my truck, like someone was breaking windows," is what Chris Williams remembers about a September 2014 evening near the Edenville Dam.

Williams and a friend were fishing near the dam at night, and he was right, when he got back to his pick up, the windows were smashed. His complaint is detailed in this Gladwin County Sheriff's report we uncovered.

"Normal people just don't smash out people's windows because they are angry they parked on the side of the road," he says.

Williams was surprised that the investigator determined it was Mueller who took a heavy chain and smashed Williams's windows.

The deputy also determined Williams truck was legally parked on the road near the dam.

The report also shows, Stephen Hultberg, Mueller's cousin and Boyce Hydro co-owner were also questioned in the case.

Mueller was charged with two felonies, including lying to a peace officer.

Mueller eventually plead no contest to malicious destruction of property and served five days in jail, probation for 18 months, and he had to pay restitution.

Williams learned after the incident that Mueller was a co-owner of the Edenville Dam.

"To do something like that to somebody's property and have control of those dams with all those people below it, it's pretty frightening," says Williams.

ABC 12 learned the charges in both criminal cases Mueller faced were originally felonies, but were plead down to misdemeanors with the no contest pleas, which is not an admission of guilt but treated as such at sentencing.

We attempted to email and call Lee Mueller for comment for the past couple of days, but have not heard back.