Daily Briefs

Law Department chief of staff new Detroit inspector general

DETROIT (AP) — City Law Department chief of staff Ellen Ha has been sworn in as Detroit's inspector general.

The city said in a release Tuesday that Ha's swearing-in was held Aug. 28. She was appointed July 31 by the City Council.

The Office of Inspector General was established as an independent agency by the 2012 Detroit City Charter. The office's jurisdiction includes city contracts, goods and services purchased by Detroit and participation in city programs.

Ha began her legal career with the city as a junior assistant corporation counsel in the Law Department. She also has worked in private practice and as a trial attorney with the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission in Detroit.

Ha returned to Detroit's Law Department in 2001 to supervise the Freedom of Information Act office.


Michigan, Harvard focus on Detroit poverty, opioid problems

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan and Harvard University are teaming up to tackle poverty and opioid addiction in Detroit.

The schools announced Wednesday they will work with the city to identify steps to improve low-income residents' livelihoods. The effort pairs Michigan's ongoing Poverty Solutions Initiative with Harvard's statistical and computational research into forces influencing economic success or failure.

The universities also will share what they and other experts know about the opioid epidemic and plan national summits in the Detroit and Boston areas.


Snyder names Jennifer Smith to 2nd Circuit Court in Berrien County

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday appointed Jennifer Smith of Stevensville to the 2nd Circuit Court in Berrien County.

“Jennifer is known locally as an outstanding attorney with a stellar work ethic,” Snyder said.

Having worked with the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for more than 20 years, Smith started there in 1997 as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Since 2013 she has served as the Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney managing a full trial docket and regularly litigating high profile cases.

Smith is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Berrien County Bar Association, and the Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Michigan Children’s Assessment Center and the Lakeshore Youth Baseball and Softball Association, and previously served as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Safe Shelter of Berrien County.

A double graduate of Wayne State University, Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in 1993 and her law degree in 1996.

Smith fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Scott Schofield. She must seek election in November 2020 for a full term.


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