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  • Schuette Encourages Michigan Residents to Register for Consumer Education Programs

    The Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division offers a variety of seminars focused on keeping Michigan consumers safe and up-to-date on the tricks criminals are using to steal from consumers.

    Programs on the following topics are available: Investment Fraud, Identity Theft, Online Safety, Home Repair and Improvement, Phone, Mail and e-Scams and In-Home Care and Senior Residences. The details of each event as well as an event calendar are listed on the Department of Attorney General website. All events are free and open to the public. To attend residents are asked to contact the venue to RSVP prior to the seminar. You can also request a Consumer Protection Education Presentation in your community by submitting an online request form.

    To register your site for a presentation please complete the online registration form.

     

     



RECENT NEWS

Press Releases
Schuette Kicks off Flint-Area Michigan Harvest Gathering Giving Campaign at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

FLINT­– Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today kicked off the Flint-area Michigan Harvest Gathering Annual Giving Campaign at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. He was joined by Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, the Food Bank Council of Michigan, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. Schuette announced the Giving Goal for the 26th year of the campaign is to provide 2.1 million meals to Michigan families in need.

Prosecutor Leyton announced that Genesee County employees would be participating in the Michigan Harvest Gathering. In addition, Michigan Health and Hospital Association has already kicked off the giving campaign with a $30,000 donation to the Michigan Harvest Gathering. They were on hand today to present the donation.

“I am asking residents across the State of Michigan to make a donation to help their neighbors, whether it be buying a few extra things at the grocery store or donating money instead of buying a coffee in the morning. If everyone contributes a little, we can make a big impact,” said Schuette. “I want to thank the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for their partnership on this campaign but more importantly for the work they do every day to make sure Michigan families don’t go hungry.”

Michigan residents interested in donating will find food collection sites at every Michigan Secretary of State branch, as well as at state office buildings throughout the state.

Michigan Harvest Gathering Background

Michigan Harvest Gathering was founded in 1991 by Attorney General Bill Schuette and his wife, Cynthia. Partnered with the Food Bank Council of Michigan, Michigan Harvest Gathering’s campaign has provided over 54 million meals for those in need. Since the establishment of the Michigan Harvest Gathering, nearly 10 million pounds of food, and $10 million have been raised to stock the shelves and pantries of food banks across the State of Michigan.

To donate or find out more about the Michigan Harvest Gathering visit www.fbcmich.org.   Families in need of assistance can call their regional food bank or dial 211 to learn who is serving food in their area.

MHG Genesee County

From left: Michigan Health and Hospital Executive Vice President David Seaman, Michigan Secretary of State Chief of Staff Mike Senyko, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, Attorney General Bill Schuette, Food Bank Council of Michigan President Dr. Phil Knight and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan President William Kerr at the the Flint-Area Michigan Harvest Gathering kick-off. 

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Schuette: Michigan Law Allows Low-Achieving Schools To Be Closed This School Year If They Fail To Show Improvement

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today released an official legal opinion clarifying state law regarding the potential closure of underachieving schools in Detroit by the State School Reform Officer (SRO). The opinion states that under current Michigan law, schools operated by the Detroit Public School Community District are subject to closure before the end of the current school year if they are among the lowest-achieving 5% of all public schools for the immediately preceding 3 school years.

This means that any school currently operated by the Detroit Public School Community District that was on the list of lowest-achieving schools for the 2015-2016, 2014-2015, and 2013-2014 school years is subject to closure.

Once the SRO issues notification of mandatory closure, a school then determines the best time to close before the end of the current school year.

“The law is clear: Michigan parents and their children do not have to be stuck indefinitely in a failing school,” said Schuette. “Detroit students and parents deserve accountability and high performing schools. If a child can’t spell opportunity, they won’t have opportunity.”

In addition, the opinion clarifies that the SRO is required to close schools in accordance with state law, unless closure would result in an unreasonable hardship because there are insufficient other public school options reasonably available. Mandatory closure applies to the lowest-achieving Detroit public schools because they are the only “community district” at this time. Other low-achieving public schools are subject to the SRO’s supervision, with the potential for closure.

In the event of a school closure, students will be re-assigned to another school.

The opinion further clarifies that the SRO’s responsibility applies to both public schools in a community district and public school academies, also known as charter schools, if they have remained in the bottom 5% of schools.
The opinion was written in response to a request by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter to clarify section 391(1) of 2016 PA 192.

This Attorney General Opinion is a review and interpretation of current Michigan law, and does not include an evaluation of school performance facts or data.

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Schuette Joins Multi-State Suit Against Maker of Opioid Addiction Treatment Drug Accused of Anti-Competitive Conduct

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today joined a multi-state antitrust lawsuit against the makers of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction, over allegations that the companies engaged in a scheme to block generic competitors and cause purchasers to pay artificially high prices.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, now known as Indivior, allegedly conspired with MonoSol Rx to switch Suboxone from a tablet version to a film (that dissolves in the mouth) in order to prevent or delay generic alternatives and maintain monopoly profits. This conduct violates both federal and state antitrust laws.

Suboxone is a brand-name prescription drug used to treat heroin addiction and other opioid addictions by easing addiction cravings. No generic alternative in the film form is currently available.

As a result, the attorneys general of 34 states and the District of Columbia allege that consumers and purchasers have paid artificially high monopoly prices since late 2009, when generic alternatives of Suboxone might otherwise have become available. During that time, annual sales of Suboxone topped $1 billion.

“Antitrust laws are in place to ensure a fair market and competitive pricing for consumers,” said Schuette. “The unethical actions of these two companies caused prices of this drug to skyrocket for consumers. Addiction rates America are at an all-time high, the blatant actions of this company to use an epidemic for financial gain is despicable.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, accuses the companies of violating the federal Sherman Act and state laws. Counts include conspiracy to monopolize and illegal restraint of trade. In the suit, the attorneys general ask the court to stop the companies from engaging in anti-competitive conduct, to restore competition, and to order appropriate relief for consumers and the states, plus costs and fees.

Alleged “Product Hopping”

The lawsuit alleges the companies engaged in illegal conduct called “product hopping,” where a company makes modest changes to its product to extend patent protections so other companies can’t enter the market and offer cheaper generic alternatives.

When Reckitt introduced Suboxone in 2002 (in tablet form), it had exclusivity protection that lasted for seven years, meaning no generic version could enter the market during that time. Before that period ended, however, it is alleged that Reckitt worked with MonoSol to create a new version of Suboxone – a dissolvable film, similar in size to a breath strip.

Over time, Reckitt allegedly converted the market away from the tablet to the film through marketing, price adjustments, and other methods. Ultimately, after the majority of Suboxone prescriptions were written for the film, Reckitt removed the tablet from the U.S. market.

According to the suit, the Suboxone film provided no real benefit over the tablet and Reckitt continued to sell the tablets in other countries even after removing them from the U.S. market. Reckitt also allegedly expressed unfounded safety concerns about the tablet version and intentionally delayed FDA approval of generic versions of Suboxone.

The attorneys general of the following jurisdictions also joined in the lawsuit: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District Of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

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Schuette Kicks off 2016 Michigan Harvest Gathering Giving Campaign at Forgotten Harvest

OAK PARK ­– Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today kicked off the 26th Annual Michigan Harvest Gathering Annual Giving Campaign at Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park, announcing the 2016 Giving Goal of providing 2.1 million meals to Michigan families.

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association was on hand to present the Michigan Harvest Gathering with a $30,000 donation toward this year’s goal.

“Sixteen percent of Michigan families don’t know where their next meal will come from,” said Schuette. “The Michigan Harvest Gathering seeks to fill the shelves of Michigan food banks to ensure that every family is able to put food on the table and this generous donation from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association will fill many shelves.”

Schuette was also joined by the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, the Food Bank Council of Michigan as well as the Reverend Jim Holley of the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit, The Michigan Health and Hospital Association and Gleaners Community Food Bank. Th event encouraged Michigan residents to make donations to their local food banks to help their neighbors in need.

Michigan residents interested in donating can find food collection sites at every Michigan Secretary of State branch, as well as at state office buildings throughout the state.

“I’m encouraging everyone in the Detroit Metro-Region to contribute to the Michigan Harvest Gathering," said Schuette. “Thank you to Forgotten Harvest for their hard work feeding families across Michigan.”

Michigan Harvest Gathering Background

Michigan Harvest Gathering was founded in 1991 by Attorney General Bill Schuette and his wife, Cynthia. Partnered with the Food Bank Council of Michigan, Michigan Harvest Gathering’s campaign has provided over 54 million meals for those in need. Since the foundation of the Michigan Harvest Gathering in 1991, nearly 10 million pounds of food, and $10 million have been raised to stock the shelves and pantries of food banks across the State of Michigan.

To donate or find out more about the Michigan Harvest Gathering visit www.fbcmich.org.   Families in need of assistance can call their regional food bank or dial 211 to learn who is serving food in their area.

MHG Oak Park

 

 

Attorney General Bill Schuette, center, thanks volunteers at Forgotten Harvest during the Southeast Michigan kickoff for the Michigan Harvest Gathering Giving Campaign. He was joined at the event by (from left) Michigan Secretary of State Chief of Staff Mike Senyko, Gleaners Community Food Bank President Gerry Brisson, Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Hayes, Michigan Health and Hospital Association Senior Vice President Nancy McKeague, Reverend Jim Holley from the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church and the Food Bank Council of Michigan Executive Director Dr. Phil Knight,

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Schuette Charges Ingham County Courtroom Attacker with Four Felonies Including Attempted Murder, Terrorism

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today charged Joshua Harding, 35, of Okemos, with four felonies related to his August courtroom attack on Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Roth.

Harding was charged with the following:

  • Assault To Commit Murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison;
  • Terrorism, a felony punishable by up to life in prison; 
  • Carrying A Concealed Weapon, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and; 
  • Possession of a Weapon in Jail, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

On August 2, 2016, just prior to a jury convicting Harding of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, he allegedly removed a shank from his shirt sleeve and rushed towards Assistant Prosecutor Roth allegedly trying to stab him in the head in the middle of an open court room in downtown Lansing.

"I am thankful for the quick action of Meridian Township Police Officer Brian Canen and the Ingham County Sheriff Deputies in the courtroom and grateful that Asst. Prosecutor Roth suffered no serious injury,” said Schuette. “Prosecutors like Mr. Roth go to court every day to provide justice for Michigan victims and I am grateful for these men and women who work so hard to see justice is provided.”

Harding was charged as a habitual offender in Ingham County Circuit Court on September 22, 2016. He is currently in Ingham County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon.

Harding was sentenced to at least 19 years in prison on September 21, 2016 on the Ingham County Criminal Sexual Conduct charge he was in court for at the time of the attack.

Terrorism Charge

The statute for a charge on terrorism states that if a defendant commits a violent felony while intending to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or affect the conduct of government a terrorism charge may be applied.

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