Tim Skubick: All eyes on Ionia prison break - FOX 32 News Chicago

Tim Skubick: All eyes on Ionia prison break

Posted: Updated:
Michael David Elliot, 40 Michael David Elliot, 40
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Normally lazy citizens could give two hoots about what happens in state government.  There are the Olympics to attend to and didn't the Pistons just hire a new coach and the Tiger pitchers and catchers are down in Lakeland don't ya know.

But mercy. When a four-time convicted murderer, who was suppose to be behind bars in the state pen in Ionia, suddenly appeared on the outside looking back, even those folks got engaged.

And because of that the politicians are falling all over themselves in a collective CYA mode to avoid being tagged with the blame as they try to prevent a repeat.

The first buck stops at the state corrections director's desk since the Ionia prison is under his command.  Instead of stepping out front to assure the antsy public that this was an isolated matter, DOC director Dan Heyns  stayed safely back stage and sent his flak out front to face the music.  Points off for hiding in the midst of this firestorm.  However he was scheduled to appear at a senate committee hearing.

The surrogate mouthpiece announced an internal investigation would be launched.  Ya think.

There's certainly lots to investigate as prisoner Michael Elliot somehow got past a laser beam system, a couple of wire barriers and a security camera system as he blended in nicely with the snow on the ground decked out in a white thermo-underwear outfit.

On top of that apparently some corrections officers drove right past the con just before he made it to freedom en route to sunny Arizona via Indiana.  He never made it and is back behind bars as the probe unfolds.  By the way he told authorities that what he did was fairly easy.

Oh my.  That will look good in some report.

Wasting little time getting into the act were key lawmakers who monitor the correction's budget.  They demanded answers once the bad guy was caught.

Within days two prison employees were asked to take a time out but it was not clear why.

Legislative Democrats were next. They reminded everyone that the Snyder administration cut back on the number of guards in guard towers sometime ago.

Oh. Oh.

Rep. Tim Greimel, the House Democratic leader from Oakland County first raised that issue with a room full of correspondents who had not had a prison break to cover for years.  His first answer gave the clear impression that the Ds were linking the escape to the governor's budget cuts, but when pressed he confessed he had no evidence of that.  He must have muttered under his breath, oh sucks.

Next up Mr. Crime-fighter himself, Attorney General Bill Schuette . He called for his own investigation and right behind him, Governor Rick Snyder embraced that probe.  He was extra careful to express full confidence in his own department's review but there is always the chance the public might not be so comfortable.  So there was the gov embracing Schuette on duty.

House Democratic leader. Mr. Greimel was not comfortable and demanded an "independent" investigation. He did not trust the administration to investigate itself.  Mr. Schuette's office shot back there was an independent investigation underway and the A.G. was doing it.

So official Lansing is attending to this matter, promising to get to the bottom and pledging it will never happen again.

Hence the good news is the public can now return to its long winter's nap and the sports section.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • PoliticalMore>>

  • Iran's parliament dismisses moderate minister

    Iran's parliament dismisses moderate minister

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:34 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:34:30 GMT
    Iranian lawmakers dismissed the country's science minister on Wednesday over his alleged support for pro-Western voices at universities, dealing a blow to moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
    In a move led by hard-line lawmakers, Iran's parliament dismissed the country's science minister on Wednesday over his alleged support for pro-Western voices at universities, dealing a blow to moderate President...
  • US Chamber pumps money into Arizona GOP primary

    US Chamber pumps money into Arizona GOP primary

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:25 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:25:15 GMT
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is stepping in to help an establishment-preferred Republican in a bruising three-way Arizona primary in one of the most competitive House districts in the country.
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is stepping in to help an establishment-preferred Republican in a bruising three-way Arizona primary in one of the most competitive House districts in the country.
  • Sullivan beats tea party in Alaska GOP Senate race

    Sullivan beats tea party in Alaska GOP Senate race

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:25 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:25:10 GMT
    Former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan became the latest mainstream Republican to turn back a tea party challenger, winning the Alaska GOP primary to become his party's candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark...
    Former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan became the latest mainstream Republican to turn back a tea party challenger, winning the Alaska GOP primary to become his party's candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in...
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices