Week of 8.21.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

MOCAD Interchange Art + Dinner

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Library Street Collective gallery owners JJ and Anthony Curis collaborated on a remarkable event that turned their home – the  Hawkins Ferry house – into a museum. Under the title “Unobstructed Views,” 39 pieces of art, all available for bids, had been installed throughout the modernist gem on the shore of Lake St. Clair. More than 200 guests ($175, $200 ticket) and their conversation invigorated both floors of the museum and the lakeside terrace. Guests included legendary sculptor Glen Michaels, who recalled creating many installations for the home’s architect Bill Kessler. Art collector Shirley Piku was another guest with specific memories.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

August 2017

HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
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The Whistleblower Act

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
...continued from page 2

Brown – who today is director for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, claimed he was fired in 2003 because he was looking into allegations into drunk driving accidents, falsified overtime records, and claims that two former mayoral bodyguards the mayor used helped facilitate and cover up extramarital affairs. Brown was awarded $3.6 million by a jury.

In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 federal felony counts and sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. Brown did not return phone calls to Downtown newsmagazine.

Steve Shaya was a contract employee for the city of Hamtramck – unlike Brown, who was a full -time employee – working as the director of public services. Shaya didn't like that certain police officers were moonlighting at local garages after work – against a city ordinance that forbid the subcontracting of city employees, especially without disclosure of their extracurricular work to city council.

"The Hamtramck officers were assigned also to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), and when there were busts, they were taking the seized vehicles and calling DA Auto Restoration Towing (in Hamtramck), where the rates were astronomical. They made money off this, their buddies were working there, and they were billing the city," Shaya's attorney, Mark Koroi of Plymouth, said. He said Shaya and fellow whistleblower Cathie Graham, who was on the city council at the time, felt the officers should have disclosed the arrangement and that they were working there in their off hours. Since they didn't, Koroi said Shaya and Graham reported it to then-city manager William Cooper, who insisted it must stop due to conflict of interest concerns.

Koroi said he believes the officers did stop. And then Cooper was suddenly fired in March of 2012, after developing a strained relationship with council in the few months prior to his firing. Cooper accused the city of breach of contract and settled with them for $142,000.

But Shaya's travails were not over. "On November 15, 2013, my client was having lunch (at home in Hamtramck), and he goes back to work, and he gets contacted by the same officer he reported (for working at DA Auto)," Koroi said. "He said there's been a report of a hit and run – 'you hit somebody.' Essentially, my client went to the emergency manager and said, 'Look at my vehicle – there's no new damage. There's nothing there. It's BS.' It got turned over to the city manager, because supposedly there was a 911 call reporting it."

Koroi said the 911 tape actually exonerated Shaya, because the information in the alleged 911 call was different in all ways – from the time of the incident, the supposed intersection, that the person in the hit and run was black (Shaya is Chaldean), and other inconsistencies, including that the caller said the vehicle was struck in the side of the vehicle, while the officer told Shaya the damage was to the hatchback.

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