parking lot. Schwanz alleged that Felch intentionally drove his vehicle toward her in the parking lot and accelerated prior to swerving around her. Afterward, she said she did not feel safe at city hall and asked for protective measures to be put in place. She also sought a personal protection order against Felch, which was denied because she could not provide two reportable incidents. She went on medical leave in October 2014 and eventually was terminated in June 2015, after she and the city could not reach agreement on a return to work. According to an April 21, 2015, story in the EagleHerald, Schwanz filed a charge of discrimination against the city with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), believing she was harassed on Sept. 16, 2014, and disciplined on Sept. 17, 2014, due to her gender. She also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A complaint with the Michigan Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration was resolved after the city submitted
A3 Friday, August 26, 2016
“I’ve handled other cases, but this was unprecedented.” Rob Jamo Menominee city attorney/interim manager on the issues raised by the Schwanz case a response letter stating the city police chief’s recommendations for employee safety, which included installing security cameras within city hall, issuing employee identification cards, installing panic alarms in the treasurer’s office and issuing training to staff on how to deal with high threat situations, Jamo told the city council at the April 20, 2015, meeting. While MIOSHA cleared the complaint, the city did not follow through with all of the recommendations — most notably the security cameras — as was stated at a recent city committee meeting. An investigation into the September 2014 incident between Felch and Schwanz was turned over to Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Hass, who asked the state to appoint a special prosecutor. Delta County
Prosecuting Attorney Philip Strom was chosen by the Michigan Attorney General’s office in January 2015, and did not bring charges against Felch in the matter. In March 2015, Strom said, “I did not feel like I could sustain my burden of proof in criminal court,” saying the lack of an eyewitness created a situation of one person’s word against the other. Jamo said Thursday that MacGregor was hired when it appeared there were going to be legal issues involving both a city employee and an elected official. “I’ve handled other cases,” Jamo said of city employment issues, “but this was unprecedented.” MacGregor has expertise in health care, medical malpractice defense, employment law, governmental tort liability and workers’
compensation, according to the law firm’s website, and has worked with the City of Menominee in the past. “She is highly respected by our insurance carrier and has represented other municipalities in the state,” Jamo said, adding he also has a high level of respect for MacGregor. The city paid MacGregor $25,767.79 total for work done from 2014 until July 31, 2016. The city was billed $19,172.50 in 2015 and $6,595.29 in 2016. Jamo said the city budgets annually for outside legal expenses. “I don’t believe it ever exceeded what we budgeted,” he told the EagleHerald. Jamo added that he heard this week from the city’s insurer, Michigan Municipal League Liability & Property Pool, that MML will pay half of those legal expenses. “I just learned it,” Jamo said. He received an email Tuesday, stating the insurer would reimburse the city for half, but said it comes as a surprise, since it wasn’t discussed. Since the city has already paid MacGregor for all but the $303.04 pending from July 31, the funds will come back to the city, Jamo said. The final billing from MacGregor
State Court: Michigan sex offender rules cannot be retroactive
LANSING, Mich. — Significant changes to Michigan’s sex offender registry law cannot be applied retroactively to thousands of sex offenders because the revisions unconstitutionally stiffen the punishment of offenders after their convictions, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed part of a lower-court ruling, saying the state could not impose harsher restrictions enacted in 2006 and 2011 on offenders who were convicted before the law was changed. The court said the revisions, which include restricting offenders’ movement near schools, penalize sex offenders as “moral lepers.” U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland ruled last year that those changes could be imposed retroactively. A spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police, which maintains the state’s sex offender registry, said the agency was reviewing the ruling to determine its impact. The state attorney general’s office also was
reviewing the decision, a spokeswoman said. Michigan — which has the country’s fourth-largest sex offender list, with 42,700 registrants — began prohibiting registrants from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of a school in 2006. Five years later, lawmakers required that offenders be divided into three tiers based on the seriousness of their crimes, rather than on individualized assessments. Some offenders must be listed on the registry for life under the changes. “As dangerous as it may be not to punish someone, it is far more dangerous to permit the government under the guise of civil regulation to punish people without prior notice,” Judge
Alice Batchelder wrote for the three-judge panel ruling in the case, joined by Judges Gilbert Merritt and Bernice Donald. The court said the sex offender registry law’s geographical restrictions are “very burdensome,” especially in densely populated communities. The law “resembles, in some respects at least, the ancient punishment of banishment,” Batchelder wrote. The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan on behalf of six people who are on the registry for life, including some who were older teenagers who had sex with underage teens. ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman said the decision shows that the registry “is broken.”
Critics argue that the registry lists so many people that it doesn’t identify the truly dangerous offenders. The five men and one woman who filed the lawsuit have children. Two of them were 18 and 19 when they had sexual relationships with 14-year-olds. Another man was 23 when he had sex with a girl under age 16 he met at a nightclub restricted to people aged 18 or older — and the two are now married, according to his lawyer. In March 2015, Cleland declared portions of the law unconstitutional. The judge said the loitering definition was so vague that offenders were unable to determine if they could attend a parent-teacher conference. Cleland also nullified some reporting rules as vague, such as requiring offenders to immediately report to law enforcement in person after getting a new email address, instant message account or “any other designations used in Internet communications or postings.” The appellate court did not address those portions of the lower judge’s decision.
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Medical Center admits that unclean surgical tools have caused problems and sometimes forced doctors to delay procedures, including heart surgery on a 7-month-old girl. The Detroit News obtained more than 200 pages of emails and reports on broken, missing and improperly cleaned instruments at the campus of five hospitals, some written by frustrated high-ranking medical staff. “This is something that has to be fixed,” Conrad Mallett, the DMC’s chief administration officer, told
the News. “What we are not is uncaring. What we are not is negligent. What we are is concerned.” On Thursday, the Michigan Bureau of Community Health Systems started an investigation into issues related to the sterilization of surgical equipment at DMC facilities, its director, Larry Horvath, told the newspaper in a statement. “We encourage anyone with a complaint regarding these issues to please contact the bureau,” Horvath said. In late May, DMC hired Unity HealthTrust of
Birmingham, Alabama, to take over the Central Sterile Processing Department, which operates in the basement of a hospital. DMC released a statement to the newspaper this week, saying “no safety issues or surgical site infections” have occurred. The newspaper reported that heart surgery on the young girl was stopped last year when blood from another patient was discovered in a suction tube. A sterilization technician represented by a union was disciplined, but the action was overturned during a grievance hearing, the News
reported. “We were led to believe everything was OK,” said her father, Laron Mason, 21. “It’s scary to think what could have happened.” In a June 2015 email, Children’s Hospital of Michigan chief surgeon Dr. Joseph Lelli said patients were being put at risk by unclean tools and delayed surgeries. “Have there been occasions where the operation has not run as smoothly as we’d like? I’d say the answer is yes,” Mallett said. “But we have been very, very diligent about making sure no one is in danger.”
By DAVID EGGERT Associated Press
“As dangerous as it may be not to punish someone, it is far more dangerous to permit the government under the guise of civil regulation to punish people without prior notice.” Judge Alice Batchelder who wrote the opinion for the three-judge panel
in July concludes the city’s involvement in the Schwanz case, Jamo said. Saturday, the EagleHerald reported on the settlement reached in June between Schwanz and the city’s Worker’s Compensation insurer for $94,850 “to redeem the defendant’s (Schwanz’s) entire workers’ compensation liability for injuries sustained by the plaintiff on 9/16/2014, 10/17/2014, 01/22/2015, LDW (last date worked); and any and all other dates of employment or injury with this employer.” The $94,850 settlement includes attorney fees and costs of $10,267 to be paid to Schwanz’s attorney Samuel J. Larabee; a $100 statutory redemption fee to the State of Michigan; and $5,277.58 to be placed in trust to Larabee to cover a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan amount which was paid to Schwanz prior to the settlement. Schwanz will receive $79,304.45 in the settlement order reached by both sides.
what they were doing was different. I didn’t know what was going on. I was afraid and he would just listen and tell me he loved me and it was going to be OK,” she said. While it was Thompson’s first deployment to Afghanistan, he previously served in Iraq. “He was an exceptional Green Beret, a cherished teammate, and devoted husband. His service in Afghanistan and Iraq speak to his level of dedication, courage, and commitment to something greater than himself,” Lt. Col. Kevin M. Trujillo, commander of the Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan, said
in a statement. Thompson was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star with a V for valor, and Purple Heart, the Army said. Brookfield Lutheran Church created a Go Fund Me page to help Thompson’s parents, Mark and Lynda, and his sisters, Karen and Robyn, who traveled to Delaware to receive Thompson’s body. Funeral services will be in Fort Lewis. “Their hearts are broken, they’re aching,” Rev. Robert Mrosko said of the family to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “When the family found out it was Matt, their son, who died, our congregation has been in constant motion reaching out, caring for and providing support for the family.”
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Detroit Medical Center stung by problems with unclean tools
Our Savior’s Annual
Worship in the Park! Sunday, August 28th 10am • Red Arrow Park Join us at Red Arrow Park in the open pavilion for worship led by Pastor Jim Wendt and the Orv Konop Polka Band. A picnic luncheon will follow worship. Our Savior’s will provide brats, burgers, hotdogs and refreshments. A dish to pass is welcomed. Please dress for comfort and bring a lawn chair!
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
1600 University Drive, Marinette, WI • 715-735-3101
August 26th - Sept. 1st 2000 Ella Court • 715.732.6869
2727 Cahill Rd. • 715.732.1233
1:30, 4:10, 6:50 & 9:30 1:35, 4:15, 6:55 & 9:30
Find Us On Facebook! Ticket Info Adults: $7 Children (2-11): $5 Seniors (55+): $5
$5 for ALL shows before 5:30 pm! *No Pass Feature
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS*
2:00, 4:40, 7:10 & 9:30 1:50, 4:25, 7:00 & 9:45 2:00, 4:40, 7:10 & 9:30 1:50, 4:25, 7:00 & 9:45
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