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Suite Dreams Project Hats Off Luncheon
From the first sip of pink bubbly (in a split with a pink straw) to the Hat Crawl guests’ exit with huge, hot pink balloons, the 16th annual Hats Off Luncheon was a dreamy, Sweet/Suite Sixteen production. During the reception the sold-out crowd (400 @ $150, $200-patron) oohed and aahed each others’ hats and bought all of the 1,000 chance auction raffle tickets. The luncheon program emceed by Rhonda Walker had highlights. Ali MacManus, a songwriter/singer who was born prematurely with multiple birth defects and has survived 11 major surgeries, got a standing ovation when she sang her composition “Breaking Free.”
oakland confidential GET WELL SOON: We know others will join us in wishing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson a speedy recovery after back surgery on June 1 in the green mountain state of North Carolina. Word is he had a pretty aggressive surgery to help him get out of the wheelchair he was finding himself bound to more and more, and one Republican said that he is already feeling better. Patterson was seriously ...more»
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"It had to be fabricated," Koroi said, noting that the officer who called Shaya was caught on tape bent over laughing in the interrogation room. Charges against Shaya were eventually discharged, and Shaya filed a $10 million whistleblower lawsuit against the city of Hamtramck in February 2014. He was terminated from his job with Hamtramck on October 23, 2014, and the city settled with him on March 3, 2017. He is now employed with another Wayne County municipality as director of public services.
"With whistleblower protections, whether at the state or federal level, the purpose is to protect the integrity of the law by removing barriers to employee efforts to report violations of the law," said Jason Shinn of Shinn Legal of Keego Harbor, who represents employers and individuals in whistleblower compliance. "In other words, whistleblower protections protect the public by protecting employees who report violations of laws and regulations."
Graham, the state legislative whistleblower, is today a resident of Dryden in Lapeer County, with his wife and baby, and has his own construction company, having left the political arena, disillusioned. As a youth, Graham was homeschooled, and went to a small Baptist Bible college in Ohio, where he majored in public administration. "I got involved with politics at a young age. I would listen to talk radio in the afternoons," he recalled. "At 16, I volunteered for my first campaign – for Dick DeVos for governor. After that, I got more and more involved in politics, and in 2008 I met Todd Courser and volunteered for his first race, which he lost."
He went to college, and returned to Lapeer County, and worked on Courser's 2010 state Senate run, which he again lost, as well as a 2013 challenge for the state Republican Party chair, before Courser won his state House seat in 2014, which he also worked on. He admits there was something about Courser that drew him in.
"He has a captivating personality. He is very outgoing and very manipulative," Graham noted. "I was taken in by his personality. I believed he was a politician who could affect real change, and he was somebody I could really support. And it turns out I was wrong about that."
While Michigan does not have a central database to determine how many whistleblower lawsuits have been filed or determined in the state, federally there were 3,355 total whistleblower suits in 2016, up from 1,842 in 2006. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) agency receives the most lawsuits each year, as it is the federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation. "A key element of WPA is where it can can cause public harm or compromise safety," Akeel noted, where a company or individual is not following or enforcing important rules, an employee reports it to the state or federal agency and is then fired for that, or suffers retaliation....continued on page 5
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