Bill Schuette http://michiganradio.org en AG prison report cites human, technology errors as prime cause of inmate escape http://michiganradio.org/post/ag-prison-report-cites-human-technology-errors-prime-cause-inmate-escape <p>A <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Elliot_Report_web_463424_7.pdf">report by the Michigan Attorney General's office</a> has found both human and technology failures played a part in the prison escape of a convicted murderer.</p><p></p><p>Michael Elliot slipped out of the Ionia Correctional Facility last February 2 by crawling under fences during a heavy snowfall. He wore white clothes to blend into the snow. He was captured about 24 hours later in Indiana.</p><p></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 02:07:43 +0000 Rick Pluta 18459 at http://michiganradio.org AG prison report cites human, technology errors as prime cause of inmate escape State attorney general’s office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel http://michiganradio.org/post/state-attorney-general-s-office-unveils-law-guides-vets-and-military-personnel <p>Michigan veterans and active duty military families now have new resources to help handle legal issues. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released two new legal guides Thursday.</p><p></p><p>“Sometimes trying to help veterans in transition coming back from a deployment, it can get a bit complicated,” said Schuette.</p><p>“It could be anything from child custody to divorce to employment issues, what have you. And so what we’re trying to do is put out a practical guide to try to help veterans across Michigan.”</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:44:46 +0000 Jake Neher 18427 at http://michiganradio.org State attorney general’s office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel AG Schuette won’t give details on his opposition to medical marijuana bills http://michiganradio.org/post/ag-schuette-won-t-give-details-his-opposition-medical-marijuana-bills <p>The state attorney general is not saying why he opposes bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan. Some top lawmakers are now urging Bill Schuette to detail his concerns.</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:31:10 +0000 Jake Neher 18424 at http://michiganradio.org AG Schuette won’t give details on his opposition to medical marijuana bills Energy giant faces criminal trial on bid-rigging in Michigan lease sale http://michiganradio.org/post/energy-giant-faces-criminal-trial-bid-rigging-michigan-lease-sale <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">You might recall that earlier this year</span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/state-unfolds-evidence-against-energy-giants-week-conspiracy-case" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">&nbsp;Michigan’s attorney general filed charges against two energy giants</a>.</p><p>Encana<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Oil and Gas USA and </span>Chesapeake<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Energy were accused of colluding to lower the price of land leases for oil and gas exploration.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last Friday, a Michigan&nbsp;</span>Cheboygan<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> County District Court judge&nbsp;rule</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">d</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;that Chesapeake Energy Corp must face a criminal trial, citing evidence of a conspiracy between the companies.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/10/us-antitrust-chesapeake-enrgy-idUSKBN0FF1Z020140710">Reuters </a>quoted&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, 'times new roman', serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 23px;">Judge Maria Barton of Michigan’s Cheboygan County District Court:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(119, 119, 119); line-height: 16px;">"The direct and circumsta</span><span style="color: rgb(119, 119, 119); line-height: 16px;">ntial evidence established that the parties did in fact strike an agreement to bid-rig the State sale."&nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><p>Part of that evidence could have come from&nbsp;Encana<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Oil. That company struck a plea deal with the State of Michigan in exchange for its help in Michigan's anti-trust case&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">Chesapeake Energy. Encana&nbsp;also agreed</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;"> to pay a $5 million fine.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">This past May, <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/energy-company-agrees-pay-michigan-5-million-anti-trust-fine">MPRN's Rick Pluta&nbsp;reported</a>:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">If Encana lives up to its end of the bargain, the state will drop other criminal charges at a sentencing hearing in 11 months.</span></p></blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Chesapeake Energy is the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas.</span></p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:18:35 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18361 at http://michiganradio.org Energy giant faces criminal trial on bid-rigging in Michigan lease sale Schuette jumps into court fight over access to Detroit retirees' personal finance data http://michiganradio.org/post/schuette-jumps-court-fight-over-access-detroit-retirees-personal-finance-data <p>Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2014/06/attorney_general_weighs_in_on.html">jumping in the fight</a> to prevent one of Detroit’s major creditors from accessing the personal financial records of city retirees.</p><p>Bond insurer Syncora Guarantee Inc. is on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars if Detroit’s plan for exiting bankruptcy moves forward.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 23:40:24 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18100 at http://michiganradio.org Schuette jumps into court fight over access to Detroit retirees' personal finance data New state budget has $3 million for prosecutions linked to rape kits http://michiganradio.org/post/new-state-budget-has-3-million-prosecutions-linked-rape-kits-0 <p>The budget approved last week by state lawmakers includes money to help prosecute some sexual assault cases.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The $3 million allocation will go toward prosecutions that stem from testing old rape kits.</span></p><p>More than 11,000 unprocessed rape kits were found in an abandoned Detroit Police crime lab in 2009.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Since then, Michigan State Police and county prosecutors have struggled to process the backlog.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office will get to divvy up those funds.</span></p><p>“The appropriation calls for us to develop a plan for how the money will be spent, and that’s what we’re working on right now,” said office spokeswoman Joy Yearout.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yearout said there was no formal deadline for submitting that plan, but the office is “fast-tracking” the process.</span></p><p>The current fiscal year’s budget included $4 million to help speed the process of testing those rape kits.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">“The next step will be investigation and prosecution that will result from that testing,” said Yearout.</span></p><p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:48:11 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18011 at http://michiganradio.org New state budget has $3 million for prosecutions linked to rape kits Attorney general shifts tactics in Lansing casino case http://michiganradio.org/post/attorney-general-shifts-tactics-lansing-casino-case <p>As expected, Michigan’s attorney general has dropped an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to block a Lansing casino project.</p><p></p><p>But the legal fight is far from finished.</p><p></p><p></p><p>Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state of Michigan could not sue the Bay Mills tribe to block it from operating a casino located off its reservation. The court ruled that the tribe has sovereign immunity.</p><p></p><p>The state was using the same legal strategy in an appeal in a case involving a proposed Lansing casino.</p><p></p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:27:49 +0000 Steve Carmody 17884 at http://michiganradio.org Attorney general shifts tactics in Lansing casino case U.S. Supreme Court ruling may pave the way for Lansing casino http://michiganradio.org/post/us-supreme-court-ruling-may-pave-way-lansing-casino <p>A U.S. Supreme Court decision this week may pave the way for casino gambling in Michigan’s capitol city.</p><p></p><p>Lansing mayor Virg Bernero says a $245 million casino project has been “cleared for takeoff” by the high court’s decision in a different casino case.</p><p></p><p>State officials sued to close an off-reservation casino opened by the Bay Mills tribe. But the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday ruled against the state of Michigan, saying the tribe has sovereign immunity.</p><p></p> Wed, 28 May 2014 10:01:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17770 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. Supreme Court ruling may pave the way for Lansing casino U.S. Supreme Court rules against the state of Michigan in casino case http://michiganradio.org/post/us-supreme-court-rules-against-state-michigan-casino-case <p>WASHINGTON – The <a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-515_jq2i.pdf">U.S. Supreme Court says</a> Michigan can't block the opening of an American Indian casino.</p><p></p> Tue, 27 May 2014 14:54:05 +0000 The Associated Press 17758 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. Supreme Court rules against the state of Michigan in casino case Same-sex marriage backers launch education campaign in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/same-sex-marriage-backers-launch-education-campaign-michigan <p>Backers of same-sex marriage are launching what an education campaign that could<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;eventually evolve into a ballot effort to reverse Michigan’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.</span></p><p>Emily Dievendorf is part of the “<a href="http://www.michiganformarriage.org/">Michigan for Marriage</a>” campaign. She says Michiganders need to understand why gays and lesbians want the same ability to marry as heterosexuals.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 08 May 2014 18:33:28 +0000 Steve Carmody 17534 at http://michiganradio.org Same-sex marriage backers launch education campaign in Michigan More Michigan officials seek assurances on pipeline in Straits of Mackinac http://michiganradio.org/post/more-michigan-officials-seek-assurances-pipeline-straits-mackinac <p>TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's attorney general and chief environmental regulator have asked the company that owns two oil pipelines stretched beneath an ecologically sensitive area of the Great Lakes for evidence that the 61-year-old lines are properly maintained and in good condition.</p><p>Attorney General Bill Schuette and Dan Wyant, director of the state Department of Environmental Quality, posed a lengthy series of questions and requested stacks of documentation in a letter sent Tuesday to Enbridge Inc. and made public Wednesday. They said the pipelines, which run beneath the Straits of Mackinac — the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Michigan — pose a unique safety risk.</p><p>"Because of where they are, any failure will have exceptional, indeed catastrophic effects," their letter said. "And because the magnitude of the resulting harm is so great, there is no margin for error. It is imperative we pursue a proactive, comprehensive approach to ensure this risk is minimized, and work together to prevent tragedy before it strikes." Wed, 30 Apr 2014 21:44:27 +0000 The Associated Press 17431 at http://michiganradio.org More Michigan officials seek assurances on pipeline in Straits of Mackinac U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/us-supreme-court-ruling-may-help-clear-air-michigan <p>Clean air advocates in Michigan are cheering a U.S. Supreme Court decision that will allow stricter regulation of coal-fired power plants.</p><p></p><p>The high court decided this week to overturn a lower court ruling and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to slap new limits on pollution from power plants.</p><p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 21:41:49 +0000 Steve Carmody 17411 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan Schuette asks for fast action on gay marriage case http://michiganradio.org/post/schuette-asks-fast-action-gay-marriage-case <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>State Attorney General Bill Schuette has asked a federal appeals court to put the legal challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage on a fast track. Schuette is defending Michigan’s ban.</p><p></p><p>Schuette’s filed a motion with the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to skip a hearing before a three judge panel and go directly to the entire 15-judge court. That could shave months, maybe as much as a year, off the appeals process. Schuette says the question needs to settled regardless of who wins in the end.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 01:09:48 +0000 Rick Pluta 17109 at http://michiganradio.org Schuette asks for fast action on gay marriage case Man accused of using fake religious organization to run foreclosure rescue scam http://michiganradio.org/post/man-accused-using-fake-religious-organization-run-foreclosure-rescue-scam <p>Michigan’s Attorney General says a Detroit man defrauded more than 100 people in southeast Michigan with a fake mortgage rescue scam.</p><p>Bill Schuette says Anthony&nbsp;Carta ran the scam through a phony religious organization called Freedom by Faith Ministries.</p><p>Carta promised homeowners facing foreclosure he’d settle up with their mortgage lenders, for a fee. But he would pocket that money instead.</p><p>Carta is accused of stealing more than $300,000 this way. He’s being charged with conducting a criminal enterprise and two other felonies.</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17099 at http://michiganradio.org Man accused of using fake religious organization to run foreclosure rescue scam Michigan Attorney General Schuette launches reelection campaign http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-attorney-general-schuette-launches-reelection-campaign <p>Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette kicked off his reelection campaign today in his hometown of Midland.</p><p>In his speech, Schuette touted his record in office, including efforts to combat human trafficking and protect pensions.</p><p>“A record that’s strong and clear. It’s a record of being a voice for victims. A voice for the constitution and a voice for Michigan,” says Schuette. “It’s a long election and I’m going to win. I’m going to take my case to the citizens across the state of Michigan.”</p><p>Schuette didn’t directly address the controversy over same-sex marriage.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 15:01:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16945 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Attorney General Schuette launches reelection campaign Bill Schuette enforcing popular regulations in an election year http://michiganradio.org/post/bill-schuette-enforcing-popular-regulations-election-year <p>There’s an old joke that says Republicans are the party in favor of local control, except when they aren’t, which is to say when local governments do something Republicans in the Legislature don’t like – for example, providing what they see as excessive health benefits to their employees.</p><p>Now it seems that the GOP is also the party which is aggressively in favor of the free market – except when it isn’t. And it is often convenient to be in favor of regulation in favor of the public interest in an election year.</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:36:14 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16911 at http://michiganradio.org Bill Schuette enforcing popular regulations in an election year Who is Mark Totten and why is he hoping to unseat Bill Schuette? http://michiganradio.org/post/who-mark-totten-and-why-he-hoping-unseat-bill-schuette <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Few remember this today, but 24 years ago, </span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/bill-schuette" style="line-height: 1.5;">Bill Schuette</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, now Michigan’s Attorney General, gave up a safe seat in Congress in an attempt to defeat U.S. Senator Carl Levin.</span></p><p>Mark Totten was a 16-year-old kid growing up in Kalamazoo back then. Had he been able to, he would have voted for Schuette. His family was solidly Republican.</p><p>However, politics weren’t on Totten’s agenda then. As a teenager, his plan was to go to the seminary and become a Baptist minister. Totten went to a small Christian college in Ohio, but his views gradually started to change.</p><p>Making the world a better place continued to be important to him, but he realized the Republican Party didn’t represent his values. Totten became a Democrat, and then did something astonishing.</p><p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 15:09:15 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16895 at http://michiganradio.org Who is Mark Totten and why is he hoping to unseat Bill Schuette? Michigan's same-sex marriage trial has political implications for state's GOP http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-same-sex-marriage-trial-has-political-implications-states-gop <p>We are one week, halfway through, the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/lesbian-couples-challenge-michigans-ban-same-sex-marriage-starts-tomorrow">trial in federal court in Detroit</a> centering on the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/meet-couple-challenging-michigans-gay-marriage-ban">challenge </a>to Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The arguments are supposed to go on for another week, and then we’ll wait for the judge’s decision. But the case’s mere existence, the fact that it’s occurring, is having an effect on the political landscape in Michigan.</p><p>And, it should be noted that these hearings are not taking place within a vacuum. Just this week we saw two more gay marriage rulings. Texas’ ban on<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-strikes-down-texas-gay-marriage-ban-paving-way-for-shift-in-conservative-bastion/2014/02/26/201d6cd0-9f1f-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html"> same-sex marriage was struck down</a> and Kentucky was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/27/283508733/federal-judge-rules-kentucky-must-recognize-gay-marriages">ordered to recognize same-sex marriages</a> performed in other states.</p><p>There is also another <a href="http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/02/gov_rick_snyder_asks_federal_j.html">federal case underway</a> here in Michigan that is challenging the state’s refusal to allow live-in partner benefits for public employees. It’s the mechanism that was created to allow same-sex couples to use their benefits to cover partners and children who would otherwise be denied coverage under Michigan’s marriage amendment, approved by voters in a statewide election 10 years ago. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:43:59 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 16667 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's same-sex marriage trial has political implications for state's GOP Who will run Michigan if there's a zombie apocalypse? We have answers http://michiganradio.org/post/who-will-run-michigan-if-theres-zombie-apocalypse-we-have-answers <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The "<a href="http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/28/22486061-and-the-designated-survivor-is">Designated Survivor</a>" is the person from the President’s Cabinet who sits out the big, official political gatherings – like the State of the Union speech, or a Presidential Inauguration.</span></p><p>That survivor would be there if something unthinkable happens. The government would still go on. Someone would be in charge.</p><p>So that got us thinking about Michigan: What does Michigan do if a catastrophe wipes out the top echelons of state government?</p><p><object height="344" width="425"><param name="movie" value="http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=2trxVXbbl3k&amp;start=0&amp;end=9&amp;cid=1927736" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" height="344" src="http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=2trxVXbbl3k&amp;start=0&amp;end=9&amp;cid=1927736" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425"></embed></object></p><p>Does Michigan have a plan?</p><p>Well, yes! It’s the “<a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(dzhtuzjdivllgb55cgpo0r45))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&amp;objectName=mcl-Act-202-of-1959">Emergency Interim Executive Succession Act</a>.” Public Act 202 of 1959 reads:</p><blockquote><p>“If the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, the elected Secretary of State, the elected Attorney General, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Speaker of the House of representatives are not able or are unavailable to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the governor because of a disaster, the available emergency interim successor highest in order of succession shall exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of governor.”</p></blockquote><p>In the case of the unthinkable – whether it’s zombies, or an attack on the state - if the entire line of succession is wiped out or incapacitated, there is still a plan for someone to be in charge. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 18:36:38 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 16260 at http://michiganradio.org Who will run Michigan if there's a zombie apocalypse? We have answers Claim deadline quickly approaching for Michigan residents affected by fungal meningitis outbreak http://michiganradio.org/post/claim-deadline-quickly-approaching-michigan-residents-affected-fungal-meningitis-outbreak <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan was hit hard by the fungal meningitis outbreak, which stemmed from tainted steroids from the New England Compounding Center. According to the Center for Disease Control, 264 cases have been reported in the state – more than 100 more than any other state in the nation.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Victims and their families are urged to file claims for possible compensation through a $100 million victim compensation fund created by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts; however, time is running short. </span></p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 17:47:48 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15998 at http://michiganradio.org Claim deadline quickly approaching for Michigan residents affected by fungal meningitis outbreak