CHARLOTTE (CCN) — The Detroit News reported Thursday that the judge hearing a preliminary exam case against Michigan State University's former president said her review of documents indicated there is "probable cause" that Lou Anna SImon "knew what was going on" in regard to a 2014 complaint against a convicted pedophile who formerly wielded power in the gymnastic world. Wednesday was set as the day to wrap up any final testimony in the proceedings against Simon.
Simon faces felony charges on what she knew about Larry Nassar's alleged sexual assaults against MSU athletes and others. The former doctor worked with many MSU athletes and was the former team doctor for Team USA's gymnastics program. He will spend the rest of his life in prison after dozens of victims came forward to say he sexually assaulted them during exams.
LANSING (CCN) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed Wednesday in support of the fundamental constitutional right to an adequate education for everyone. “There are moments in our state’s and, indeed, our nation’s history when silence in the face of abhorrent circumstances is not an option,” AG Nessel said. “Today is one such moment."
Nessel, who became Michigan's Attorney General in January, filed a request to have her amicus brief accepted and considered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the case of Gary B., et al v. Gretchen Whitmer, et al. Nessel’s brief argues that a minimally adequate public education is critical in allowing every individual — no matter who they are or where they live — to exercise their constitutional rights, to respond to the complexities of modern life, and to rise above racial and socioeconomic barriers. She further argues that the absence of a minimally adequate public education jeopardizes the very foundation on which our American democracy rests.
“As Michigan’s Attorney General, acting on behalf of the general welfare of all the people — and particularly every child in this State — I am legally, morally, and personally compelled to advance this important concept,” said AG Nessel who noted that the late civil rights champion and distinguished jurist Judge Damon Keith observed in a landmark case involving school segregation in southeast Michigan that “it is of paramount importance for all school children to have equal opportunity to education.”
“I can think of no better way to honor Judge Keith’s legacy than to ensure that his words become reality,” AG Nessel added.
TROY (CCN) — Troy Mayor Dane Slater wasn't talking to the media after accusations that he got free paving for his driveway in a manner similar to a current inmate in federal prison. The bribery case involving Troy's former city manager was back in the conversation at this week's meeting of the Troy City Council. The company accused of giving former City Manager Brian Kischnick a free driveway paving got a new $1.8 million city contract while coming under fire for allegations by a community activist who claimed Mayor Dane Slater also got a free driveway paving deal from DiLisio Contracting.
The accusations came from attorney John Kulesz after Mayor Slater and the rest of the city council voted 6-0 to give the new $1.8 million city contract to DiLisio Contracting. The resolution passed after a memo from auditors noted that DiLisio officials gave "full cooperation" to the FBI during the investigation into Kischnick. He went to prison in March on a 30-month sentence after admitting his firm paved Kischnick's driveway for free to get city work.
FLINT (CCN) — Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell packed media members into his conference room Monday to reveal details of a new task force taking aim at child predators. He revealed the arrests of a Vice President at Comerica Bank, a credit union manager and two restaurant managers among 22 taken off the streets by his newly-assembled Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST). One woman was charged with 21 men. The woman, Jennifer Beckman, is accused of trafficking her 6-year-old daughter for sex to Michael Foster.
"As a result of our investigation, Foster, 23, was also arrested for sex acts with his two-year-old daughter," Sheriff Pickell said to the gathering of media members that included representatives from a Detroit TV station and the Detroit Free Press. The event was live streamed to thousands on Facebook by the Free Press, The Detroit News, WEYI TV 25, WXYZ TV 7 and The Daily Gazette. Photos above were presented by Sheriff Pickell to identify the 23 individuals arrested. He said they are facing a combined total of more than 1,000 years in prison.
Sheriff Pickell said, "The investigation is a sobering reminder that we must be more vigilant than ever protecting our children, even when they are not in public. Predators are increasingly becoming more adept at interacting with children through various social media platforms. Law enforcement, parents, and our community as a whole must work together increasing awareness of the dangers these predators present, and continue to develop tools to identify them and remove the threat they pose to our loved ones. "
The Sheriff added that parents no longer must worry about predators when their children leave the home. "Now, we need to worry about the predators coming into their bedrooms when they're on the computer," Sheriff Pickell said. "But the next face they may see will be mine. Know this: GHOST is coming for you."
The Genesee County Board of Commissioners voted 9-0 to give the Genesee County Sheriff's Department $125,000 for Sheriff Pickell to assemble the new task force. "The only reason we don't have more than 22 is because of manpower and other crimes we need to investigate," he said. "If I get a grant for more money, we will take more predators off the streets."
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