Southwest Michigan Today For Monday August 28, 2017

Aug 28, 2017

Former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley says a state official should not face charges for the Flint water crisis. 19 people face charges for a bank fraud scheme in Southwest Michigan. The Battle Creek City Commission formally votes next week to accept a commissioner's resignation and fill the vacancy. 

Former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley says a state official should not face involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office charges for his role in the Flint water crisis. Kelley, who served as Michigan’s Attorney General for 37 years, tells the Detroit Free Press that Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon had nothing to do with making the decisions that led to Flint’s drinking water being contaminated with lead. A spokeswoman for current Attorney General Bill Schuette says he has great respect for Kelley. However, Andrea Bitely says sometimes prosecutors disagree and she adds that all can agree that the families of Flint deserve justice.

Federal investigators say that Fire Keepers Casino and ATM’s and bank branches in Southwestern Michigan were used in a scheme to steal $200,000 from Bank of America two years ago. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that federal and local police started making arrests on Thursday. An indictment says the suspects opened accounts with Bank of America then deposited fraudulent checks. They withdrew the money from the accounts before the fraud was discovered. 19 people have been indicted on charges that include conspiracy to commit bank fraud. If convicted the defendants from Michigan, Illinois and Georgia, could face up to 30 years in prison.

Southwestern Michigan College says the state has over reached in an audit of how it pays into the state employee retirement system. The St. Joseph Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium reports that the Michigan Office of the Auditor General told the community college that it must enroll part-time students who work on campus into the state teacher’s retirement system. Southwestern Michigan College filed a lawsuit last week in the Michigan Court of Claims. The college, which has campuses in Dowagiac and Niles, says enrolling student employees in the retirement system would require them to reduce student wages.

Battle Creek City Commissioners will formally vote next week to accept the resignation of Commissioner Mike Sherzer, and appoint a replacement to serve until the November election. A news release from the city says Sherzer resigned Friday afternoon after selling his home in Battle Creek. The Ward Four commissioner announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election. Commissioners previously voted to appoint former Ward four Commissioner John Godfrey to fill the vacancy. Godfrey, who also previously served as mayor of Battle Creek, is expected to be sworn in following a formal vote at the commission’s meeting on September fifth.

In men’s soccer, Western Michigan beat Stetson 5-0 Sunday. The Broncos have won their first two matches of the season.

Western Michigan’s women’s soccer team lost to Indiana 4-0. It was the Broncos first loss of the season after two victories.