Daily Briefs . . .

Flint whistleblower gets attention from state Supreme Court

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is looking at the case of a Flint police officer who says he was put on road patrol in a dangerous area after criticizing how tax dollars were spent.

The state appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, found nothing illegal with what happened to Kevin Smith in 2013. But the Supreme Court last week told lawyers to file briefs about whether Smith is protected under Michigan’s whistleblower law, among other issues.

The court could decide to take a full appeal or some other action.

Smith was a full-time police union president until Flint’s emergency manager eliminated the position in 2012. He says he later got in trouble when he criticized how Flint was spending a special millage for public safety.


Nominations open through Sept. 6 for 2016 Child Welfare Awards

The State Court Administrative Office’s Foster Care Review Board for is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Child Welfare Awards, which are given every year in the fall to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to Michigan’s foster children.

“The awards program provides a forum for recognition of the excellent work that is performed by child welfare professionals who work diligently to overcome systemic barriers and go above and beyond policy, court rule, and statutory standards to help ensure the safety, well-being, and timely permanency for children and families served by our foster care system,” said FCRB Program Manager James Novell. 

One nominee from each of the following categories will be recognized:

• Jurist of the Year

• Foster Care Worker of the Year

• Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem of the Year

• Foster Parent of the Year

• Parent Attorney of the Year

The nomination deadline is Sept. 6.  Finalists will be chosen by a panel of Foster Care Review Board members, and award winners are chosen by a panel of child welfare professionals and advocates, including award winners from the past year.  This year’s award recipients will be recognized at the FCRB annual training conference on Thursday, November 3, 2016, at the Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport Hotel in Romulus, Michigan.

The FCRB, which was created by the Michigan legislature in 1981, serves as a statewide system of third-party review of the foster care system.  The program is administered by the State Court Administrative Office, the administrative agency of the Michigan Supreme Court.  Citizen volunteers serve on the FCRB’s 30 local review boards throughout the state.  Local boards review randomly chosen child abuse and neglect cases; the boards assess how these cases are being handled by courts, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and private child welfare agencies. For more information about the FCRB, and for information about volunteering, visit www.courts.mi.gov/fcrb.


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