Daily Briefs

Matthew Schneider resigning as U.S. attorney in Detroit



DETROIT (AP) — The chief federal prosecutor in eastern Michigan said he’s leaving office on Feb. 1 to join the Honigman law firm.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider served for three years. Changes are common when a new president from a different party is elected.

“In the last three years, this team has overcome tremendous challenges, from the longest federal government shutdown in American history, to an enormous rise in violent crime, the greatest increase in civil unrest since 1967, and a global pandemic,” Schneider said Thursday.

Schneider was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department and then nominated by President Donald Trump. Saima Mohsin will become acting U.S. attorney.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in eastern Michigan covers more than 30 counties, from the tip of the Lower Peninsula to the Ohio border.

Schneider recently announced a deal with the United Auto Workers to put a monitor in place after a series of corruption convictions in the union’s senior ranks.

He sharply criticized Trump this week for releasing  former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from prison, years before the end of his 28-year sentence for corruption.

 

Judge gives preliminary OK to $641M Flint water deal


DETROIT (AP) — A judge granted preliminary approval Thursday to a $641 million deal that would benefit Flint residents who were harmed by lead-contaminated water.

The settlement includes $600 million from the state of Michigan, although Flint, an area hospital and an engineering firm are also part of the agreement. U.S. District Judge Judith Levy signed off in a 72-page opinion.

“There may be no amount of money that would fully recognize the harm the residents of Flint have experienced, including their anxiety, fear, distrust and anger over the events of the last seven years,” Levy said. “Litigation has its benefits but also its limitations, and the preliminary approval of this settlement does not affect or preclude other avenues of redress.”

Preliminary approval triggers a monthslong process during which Flint residents can object and pursue their own claims, Levy said.

Regulators in then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration allowed Flint to use the Flint River in 2014-15 without treating the water to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead in old pipes broke off and flowed through taps.

Separately, experts have blamed the Flint River water for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which led to at least 12 deaths in the Flint area.

Snyder last week was charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty in Flint. Eight other people were also charged, including two health department officials who are blamed for the deaths of nine people with Legionnaires’.




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