State Roundup


Documents: Voice test lawsuit settled for $80,000

MASON, Mich. (AP) -- Documents show Ingham County agreed to pay $80,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former employee who sued the county clerk saying she was wrongly accused of making a phone call implying an extramarital affair.

The Lansing State Journal published details Wednesday of the settlement dated Aug. 29 that it obtained after filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Nicole Anderson's lawsuit filed in April claimed she was illegally forced to take a voice recognition test and then told to resign.

The lawsuit claimed that Clerk Mike Bryanton violated state law prohibiting employers from administering polygraph tests.

The suit also claimed the married Bryanton promoted a woman with whom he was romantically involved to a high-level position in the office. Bryanton denied having a romantic relationship with the woman.


Wrong-way bike rider ticketed, faces neglect case

DETROIT (AP) -- A Detroit business owner is facing a parental neglect charge after being stopped for biking the wrong way on a one-way street while hauling his 3-year-old twins in a bike trailer.

Sean Harrington tells WDIV-TV and the Detroit Free Press he was riding on the sidewalk Sept. 2 to his home in Detroit from the RiverWalk when he came across pedestrians, so he pulled onto the street.

Harrington, whose businesses include Town Pump Tavern, says police stopped him and gave him a $110 ticket for loitering/impeding pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic. And the 43-year-old is due in court Nov. 15 on the parental neglect charge.

He says it's "absolutely ludicrous."

Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said in an email Wednesday the department was looking into the matter didn't have an immediate comment.


Man gets 25-47 years in 2009 bludgeoning death

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) -- A 56-year-old northwestern Lower Peninsula man has been sentenced to 25 to 47 in prison in the 2009 bludgeoning death of his girlfriend.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports Robert Cheek told a judge in Benzie County Circuit Court in Beulah that he doesn't remember killing Valerie Smith in April 2009. The Frankfort man blamed an addiction to prescription drugs in the hammer attack.

Cheek told the court Tuesday his remorse "cannot be described in words."

Cheek pleaded no contest last month to second-degree murder. Authorities have said evidence in the case pointed to him as the killer.

The judge also sentenced Cheek in an attack on a man with a rock in Manistee County after the killing. He had pleaded no contest in that case as well.

Published: Thu, Oct 6, 2011