Michigan AG Nessel issues statement on sentencing of MSU's former Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel


LANSING (CCN) —  Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel is headed to prison as part of the Larry Nasser scandal.

Strampel was sentenced Wednesday by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk to 11 months in county jail on count one of Misconduct in Office and one year in jail on counts two and three of Willful Neglect of Duty. He will serve the terms concurrently.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement about the sentence: "Today’s sentencing sends a resoundingly clear message to public officials: If you brandish your power to demean, insult, harass, objectify, and abuse women, you will be held accountable. We appreciate the court’s decision and commitment to ensuring justice in this case was served. While Mr. Strampel’s sentence will never give back the years of pain and suffering his victims had to endure, the persistence of these courageous survivors made certain that he could no longer hide behind the title he once held to escape the reach of justice.”

Michigan Attorney General urges streaming services to protect young viewers from tobacco imagery


LANSING (CCN) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 42 other Attorneys General Wednesday in urging the video streaming industry to limit tobacco use in their content to combat the increasing use of tobacco products by young people. On behalf of the bipartisan alliance, The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent letters to the leading U.S. streaming services Amazon, Apple, AT&T, CBS Corporation, Comcast Corporation, Discovery, The Walt Disney Company, Google, Netflix, Sony, Lionsgate, Viacom and Walmart.

“My colleagues and I joined forces on this because we see the benefit in taking a proactive approach to protecting our young people from tobacco imagery,” said AG Nessel. “We have seen a significant rise in the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schoolers since 2017 and given my position as Attorney General, I have a duty to protect Michigan’s children from the influences of tobacco use.” The U.S. Surgeon General in 2012 confirmed tobacco imagery is linked to the “initiation of smoking among young people.” With a spike in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students from 2.1 million in 2017 to 3.6 million in 2018, the Attorneys General argue in their letters that preventing initiation and use of tobacco products is of critical importance to public health.  

Former police chief in tiny Village of Oakley who recruited Kid Rock for reserve list given federal prison sentence


BAY CITY (CCN) — The former police chief in a tiny rural Michigan village is headed to prison. Robert Reznick was ordered to spend one year and one day in federal prison in a Bay City courtroom on Thursday. He's the former chief in Oakley who used a police reserve program to hand out badges in exchange for donations to his department from a list that included Kid Rock and a former pro football player. The list of reserves grew to more than 100 in the tiny village of only 290 residents.

Reznick faced up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony wire fraud count and he faced up to three years in prison for admitting to filing a false 2012 income tax return. The sentencing guidelines ranged from 12 months to 18 months. Court records show that  U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington also ordered Reznick to pay $124,078.88 in restitution to the IRS and $4,053.77 for the cost of his prosecution. 

58-year-old Lapeer County man arraigned on 11 counts of child porn

NORTH BRANCH (CCN) — A 58-year-old Lapeer County man has been arrested on 11 child porn charges. The arrest of Wayne Russell Gilbert was announced Thursday by the Michigan State Police (MSP) Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The North Branch man was arrested, State Police said, after it was   it was learned that Gilbert was sharing child sexually abusive material on the internet.  Digital evidence was seized from his home and he was charged after a forensic examination on his computer. He was then charged with 10 felony counts of distributing child sexually abusive material and one felony count of using a computer to commit a crime. Gilbert was arraigned in Lapeer County's 71A District Court on Thursday.

56-year-old Au Gres man arrested by Michigan State Police on 3 child porn charges 

AU GRES (CCN) — A 56-year-old Au Gres man was also arrested on child porn charges Thursday by the Michigan State Police's Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Christopher Paul Botimer was arrested following an investigation in which digital evidence was seized from his home. The investigation was initiated when it was learned that Botimer was uploading child sexually abusive materials to the internet. He was charged with two counts of child sexually abusive activity and one count of using a computer to commit a crime after a forensic examination of the digital evidence. Botimer was arraigned Thursday in the 81st District Court in Arenac County.

Oakland County Democrats hit snag when new acting chair cancels special meeting minutes after chair resigns

PONTIAC (CCN) — Oakland County Democrats hoping to get control of the County Executive position hit a snag on Wednesday night. One day before long-time County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's funeral, Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Dave Woodward resigned his position with expectations to win a vote to succeed Patterson at a special meeting that was apparently called for that specific purpose.

Woodward needed to resign from the board to become eligible. He did at 6 pm but just minutes later the Royal Oak Democrat was left stunned when the board's new acting chair (Bloomfield Township Democrat) Marcia Gershenson decided to cancel the special meeting.

She told the Detroit Free Press that she canceled the meeting "because we listened to our constituents" who want "an open and transparent process." 

AG Nessel joins effort urging FCC regulators to protect workers from anti-competitive labor practices

LANSING (CCN) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 17 other Attorneys General in urging collaboration between Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulators and state AG's to protect workers from anti-competitive labor practices that depress wages and limit job mobility and opportunities for advancement.

In a comment letter filed in connection with the FTC’s hearings on competition in the 21st Century, the coalition argues that the FTC should increase its focus on antitrust enforcement in labor markets and use their authority to crack down on non-compete and no-poach contract agreements — in addition to considering how workers are impacted by proposed mergers.

“In an era where wages continually decline and workers’ protections, like prevailing wage, are routinely stripped, we must begin reviving antitrust regulation in labor markets,” said AG Nessel. “We must do this to protect workers from harmful anti-competitive practices such as targeting low-income workers by forcing them to sign non-compete agreements and ultimately limiting their earning potential.”

 Antitrust laws work to protect competition in markets, benefiting both consumers and workers. These laws typically work to prevent harmful practices such as monopolization, price-fixing and market allocation, which can result in higher prices, depressed wages, decreased supply of products, or lower quality products and services. State attorneys general and the FTC have a strong interest in protecting the competitiveness of markets and can work both independently and collaboratively to take enforcement action to stop antitrust law violations.