Schuette defends failed Home for Veterans criminal case

Schuette discusses the case about former care workers from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

LANSING, MICH. - Attorney General Bill Schuette says he doesn't regret trying to prosecute nearly a dozen former caregivers from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  

Over the summer, Schuette charged 11 former workers at the home for falsifying medical records when they had initialed member check sheets they checked on veterans in the facility when they, in reality, hadn't done the work.

At this moment, very little remains of the case against the workers after a judge threw out most of the charges. The judge's ruling suggested the workers didn't break the law. Attorneys for the workers argued the member check sheets weren't technically "medical records" and the defense attorneys complained the state couldn't produce video showing the workers didn't do the checks.

Related: Charges against several Veterans' Home employees dismissed

Despite a lack of evidence, Schuette maintains he thought the State of Michigan had a good case.

"When you're a veteran, in particular a veteran who served our country and you're treated in a shabby way, that's wrong," Schuette said. "I am proud of what we did and if i had to do it again, I would do it a second time."

This summer, multiple sources close to the situation, not connected with the employees, reached out to our investigative team to express concerns about the filing of the charges against low-level workers inside the facility.  

There was deep criticism that Schuette pressed on with a prosecution of these workers knowing the video was not available, and there were questions whether the documents that were falsified were really medical records.

"In my opinion there has to be a political component of the prosecution," defense attorney Frank Stanley said. "To charge these people with felonies under these circumstances is almost egregious. They should have never been charged at all."

Democrats and others in politics pounced on the dismissal of charges suggesting Schuette charged the workers to advance his political career as a gubernatorial candidate.

"Bill Schuette will do what Bill Schuette does," Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon said. "Whether it's these workers at the Vets home, low-level scapegoats, whatever cases he's pursuing to help his run for governor, that's how Bill Schuette is going to operate."

Schuette said this week his office is still taking a look at the case to see if the AG's office wants to appeal the judge's decision to throw out the charges. It's likely there won't be a continuation of the case unless new evidence is obtained. 

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

© 2018 WZZM-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment