Daily Briefs

Watchdog to lead review of Michigan’s child welfare system

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed the director of an agency that serves as a watchdog of the state’s child welfare system to lead a review after a scathing audit of Children’s Protective Services.

Snyder on Tuesday announced the selection of Orlene Hawks to lead the review and improvement process of CPS after last week’s state Office of the Auditor General report . It found many deficiencies, including failing to launch and complete investigations within required timeframes, and not referring investigations to prosecutors.

Hawks will take a leave from the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman during the review.

Snyder says he expects Hawks will find ways to rapidly improve the program. He has called the audit’s findings “unacceptable.”

Michigan’s child welfare system has been under court oversight for a decade.


Safety instructor gets jail in fatal shooting of teen hunter

HART, Mich. (AP) — A hunter safety instructor charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy while they were squirrel hunting in western Michigan has been sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Roger Hoeker of Jenison learned his punishment Monday after pleading no contest to careless discharge of a firearm resulting in injury or death. A June trial ended in a mistrial .

Police say Hoeker shot William “Billy” Gort Jr. of Wyoming, Michigan, in the head during a Feb., 18, 2017, hunting trip with a friend and Hoeker, a mentor for a youth outreach program. Hoeker told investigators that the bullet ricocheted off a tree.

Hoeker’s attorney offered an apology.

Hoeker was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter . A judge sent the case to trial on a lesser charge, reckless discharge of a firearm.


FBA Civil Rights Pleading Roadshow set for Sept. 27

Back by popular demand, the Federal Bar Association Civil Rights Pleading Roadshow will make its next stop at the Ann Arbor Federal Courthouse, 200 E. Liberty in Ann Arbor from 12-1:30 p.m. Thursday,  September 27. The Honorable Judith E. Levy, United States District Court, and Professor Samuel Bagenstos of Michigan Law will be the distinguished panelists, and Adam Wenner, Honigman, will serve as the event moderator.

Judge Levy and Professor Bagenstos will present an interactive session for practitioners of all experience levels and both sides of the “v.” on what it takes to survive or prevail on a motion to dismiss under the federal pleading standards established in Ashcroft v. Iqbal (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly (2007). There will be time for audience questions and comments. For more information contact Adam Wenner at awenner@honigman.com.