Flint water insult, state Dem boss out, anti-Semite gets house arrest: Wednesday briefing

These are Wednesday’s top stories:

State employee charged in Flint water crisis lands big salary

Dr. Eden Wells, the state’s medical executive who has been criminally charged in connection with the Flint water crisis, landed a new, cushy job in Gov. Snyder’s administration that will pay her $180,000 a year. 

The Flint Journal reports that Wells will serve as public health adviser for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

The news comes just a week after a judge ordered Wells to stand trial on charges that she failed to timely inform the public of a deadly Legionnaires outbreak when Flint began using tainted city water. 

Snyder maintains he knew nothing of the new job. 

Brandon Dillon won’t seek re-election as state party boss

The Michigan Democratic Party is about to get a new boss. 

Party Chairman Brandon Dillon said Wednesday morning that he will not seek re-election after Democrats gained ground in the state Legislature and won all three statewide seats, The Detroit News reports.  

Dillon, a former state representative from Grand Rapids, became the party chairman in 2015.

“It’s been an honor to lead a storied Democratic Party that fights relentlessly for Michigan’s workers and their families,” Dillon said in a statement.

“I’m extremely proud of the winning operation we built and the historic gains Michigan Democrats made at the ballot box. When I took on this challenge, one of my top goals was to help elect a Democratic governor — and we accomplished that with Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer’s decisive victory.”

Anti-Semite on house arrest after threatening local journalists 

An anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist from Ann Arbor was placed on house arrest after prosecutors allege he sent threatening and sexually violent messages to Detroit-area journalists, including Motor City Muckraker

Lawrence Steven Brayboy was released on bond Monday after he was charged with stalking and making threatening communications, The Detroit News reports

Brayboy sent Motor City Muckraker 67 emails in the past year, peddling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and threatening local journalists. In an email on Feb. 1, Brayboy said former Sen. Carl Levin was “anally penetrating” former Metro Times columnist Jack Lessenberry. 

Braboy did not respond to questions for comment. 

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.