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Grand Traverse prosecutor resumes Child Advocacy Center partnership

The Grand Traverse County Prosecutor's office will reenter a partnership with the Traverse Bay Child Advocacy Center after severing ties last month.

Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg said the decision was steered by leadership changes on the organization’s board of directors.

Moeggenberg stepped down from the board on May 11 after expressing concerns over transparency, management and how employees were treated. She was joined in her departure by three other board members.

This week, she said those concerns are being addressed under new leadership.

“They're really looking into personnel issues and making sure that staff is treated fairly and has the support that they need to do the really hard jobs that they do,” Moeggenberg said. “That made all the difference for us.”

The center helps prosecutors and authorities investigate crimes against children, in part by conducting interviews with young victims.

Since opening in 2010, the center has done more than 3,500 forensic interviews with children, including safety checks.

Earlier this month, Bill Brott, tribal prosecutor for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, assumed the role of board chair.

He says he looks forward to continuing relationships with partners of the center, including the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office, the Michigan State Police, Traverse City Police and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“We want the focus to be on moving forward,” he said. “We’re going to self assess and look at things that have happened and analyze it, but at this point in time we’re just happy that the band is back together.”

As of the evening of June 27, the CAC website lists seven members of the board of directors:

  • Wilson “Bill” Brott - Board Chair - Tribal Prosecutor, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians
  • Tifini McClyde-Blythe - Vice Chair - Associate Vice President Human Resources, Interlochen Center for the Arts
  • Karen Browne - Treasurer - President/CEO, TBA Credit Union
  • Mimi Appel - Secretary - Regional Program Director (Retired), New Teacher Center
  • Dr. Jayne Mohr - Past Board Chair - Associate Superintendent (Retired), Traverse City Area Public Schools
  • Dr. Peter Springsteen - Director - Physician,The Walk-In Clinic
  • Cmdr. Andrew Schanno - Director - Commanding Officer, United States Coast Guard, Traverse City Air Station
Michael Livingston covers the area around the Straits of Mackinac - including Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties as a Report for America corps member.