State Roundup

Ann Arbor
Social media head has resigned amid resume scrutiny

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan’s first social media director has resigned after it was revealed online that she didn’t graduate from college as she had claimed on her resume and job application.

Jordan Miller’s resignation from the $100,000 a year job was effective Monday, and the Detroit Free Press reported.

“My intention was never to deceive the university, but I acknowledge that I made a mistake, and I’m very sorry,” she said in an email Tuesday. “In light of this, I believe that it’s in the best interest of the university that I resign from my position, so I have chosen to do that.”

School spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said a university compliance hotline was notified of the potential inaccuracy on Thursday night. Fitzgerald said that education verification isn’t standard for university staff positions, although it is for faculty positions.

Documents posted Friday on the Reddit website, purportedly obtained using a Freedom of Information Act request, also backed the claim about Miller’s education.

Miller was hired earlier this year and was in charge of the university’s social media presence and strategy. She stated on her resume and job application that she graduated from
Columbia College in Chicago, where she attended, but the school recently verified that wasn’t true.

Miller’s statement Tuesday is a change from Friday, when she said she was “doing everything in my power to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

Columbia College records clerk William Gregory said that under current practices the school sends letters to students informing them if they are short of credits and cannot graduate.
Miller didn’t say whether she was aware of her graduation status.

Officials: Worker dispute leads to bridge backups

DETROIT (AP) — Officials say a dispute involving border workers in Canada has led to traffic backups at Michigan crossings including the Ambassador Bridge and the Blue Water Bridge.

WWJ-AM reports delays Wednesday morning of more than two hours at the Ambassador Bridge heading from Detroit into Windsor, Ontario.

Delays also were reported at the Blue Water Bridge connecting Port Huron, Mich., and Sarnia, Ontario.

The Canada Border Services Agency says several officers refused to work because they’re questioning the safety implications of wearing a uniform name tag.

A union representing workers has expressed opposition to the name tags, which are used by some other agencies in Canada and the U.S.

Shelby Twp.
2 boys find mastodon bone in Michigan backyard

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A researcher has confirmed that two 11-year-old boys found a mastodon bone over the summer while exploring a southeast Michigan yard.

The Detroit News reports Eric Stamatin of Macomb County’s Shelby Township and his cousin Andrew Gainariu of Troy found the bone near a stream while exploring Eric’s backyard. Eric says it looked like a rock, but a hole made them think it was a bone.

A researcher at Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills confirmed it was an axis bone from an extinct American mastodon, a relative of the elephant. Paleontologist John Zawiskie says the fossil is likely between 13,000 and 14,000 years old.

A search of the area didn’t turn up more bones. Zawiskie says there are records of numerous mastodon-related finds in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Man pleads guilty in $2.6M prison legal aid scam

YALE, Mich. (AP) — Detroit’s U.S. attorney says a southeastern Michigan man has pleaded guilty to mail fraud, two years after being accused of stealing $2.6 million from thousands of prisoners and their family members nationwide.

The government says 57-year-old John Wilson of Yale faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing April 11. It says he also pleaded guilty to a tax crime and agreed to pay $2 million.

The Detroit News reports that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says Wilson preyed on prisoners and their families seeking legal assistance, talking their money and denying them justice.

She says Wilson’s three businesses sent direct mailings to inmates offering to provide legal and appellate court work.

Co-defendant Lari Zeka of Macomb County’s Macomb Township pleaded guilty in January and awaits sentencing.