Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 5:40 a.m. EST
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a misdemeanor charge and closed a criminal case against a state official who was fired as head of Michigan’s drinking water office during the Flint water scandal. Liane Shekter Smith’s 2019 deal with a special prosecutor called for her no-contest plea to be erased after a year if she cooperated with investigators. Fadwa Hammoud of the attorney general’s office says she had to honor the deal. Hammoud took over the Flint water investigation after Shekter Smith made a deal with Todd Flood. Shekter Smith had pleaded no contest to an obscure misdemeanor. Earlier, Shekter Smith was charged with misconduct in office and neglect of duty, but those counts were dropped.
JENISON, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan college professor whose severely autistic 16-year-old son drowned in an icy backyard pool last March says the authorities treated him unfairly by charging him in his son’s death. Timothy Koets on Tuesday told the television program “Inside Edition” that he is being unfairly portrayed as an uncaring father. Authorities say Timothy Koets and his wife would restrain Samuel Koets’ arms to prevent him from harming himself. Authorities say the boy’s arms were bound when he was found March 28 in the pool behind the family’s Georgetown Township home. Koets is scheduled to stand trial in March.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — People could pick up prescriptions at Michigan pharmacies that are not staffed by an on-site pharmacist under a bill that has cleared the Legislature and will go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature. The measure would allow for “remote” pharmacies, which proponents support as a way to expand access to pharmacy services in rural and underserved areas. Pharmacists at “parent” pharmacies” could use real-time audio and video computer equipment to review a prescription before it is dispensed by pharmacy technicians. The bill won final approval on a 32-5 vote in the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday, with some Democrats opposed.
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court says the public can bring laptops, tablets and phones into local courthouses. The court announced the groundbreaking policy change Wednesday. The new rule covers the use of electronic devices in courtrooms and clerk’s offices, where public documents are stored. The public can bring electronic devices into courtrooms to take notes, use the internet or exchange email and text messages. Photos or video, however, are prohibited unless approved by a judge. Many court clerks opposed the rule because it could reduce lucrative copying fees.