Where HIV meets the law

The Michigan Messenger has been doing thought-provoking coverage of HIV-related issues this year. This is their end-of-year roundup of stories about where HIV meets the law, terrorism, discrimination and privacy issues. See the story here.

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Macomb County prosecutor accused of retaliation

The Michigan Messenger is reporting:

The HIV-as-terrorism case is not the only potentially explosive legal proceeding going on for Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.

In another case, the tables are being turned on Smith as he finds himself accused of violating the law by engaging in retaliation against a defendant who publicly blew the whistle on alleged police and prosecutorial misconduct. And the Macomb Daily reports that a judge has determined that there is enough evidence to move forward with that case.

Macomb County faces lawsuit if it doesn’t fill prosecutor positions

“Time is running out for Macomb County to avoid a lawsuit over cuts made in the Prosecutor’s Office, an attorney for county Prosecutor Eric Smith said Tuesday,” reports the Detroit Free Press.

“In a letter sent to commissioners, attorney Ven Johnson threatened a lawsuit if the county doesn’t adequately staff the Prosecutor’s Office to handle the growing caseload. He did not say Tuesday when a suit would be filed.

“The threat came last week after commissioners eliminated 10 vacant positions from the office to help erase a $15.7-million deficit. Five of those were for assistant prosecutors.”

Macomb cuts rile prosecutor

From The Detroit News:

A battle over the budget turned ugly in Macomb County on Tuesday as the prosecutor vowed to sue over cuts he says will cripple his department’s ability to keep offenders off the streets.

The county board’s budget committee on Tuesday approved reductions for Prosecutor Eric Smith and Sheriff Mark Hackel over the vehement objections of both.

"We’re looking at chaos," Smith said. "Some of our prosecutors are handling over 100 files in some district courtrooms. That’s not adequate representation for the victims of crime in this county."