Michigan Pays $558 Per Hour To Firm In Child Welfare Case

DETROIT (AP) — A state agency has turned to a former state lawyer now in private practice to try to end court oversight of Michigan’s child welfare system.

The attorney general’s office typically represents the state in legal actions. But John Bursch was brought aboard last year with a specific mission.

He’s trying to persuade a judge to end or greatly reshape an agreement between the Department of Human Services and a New York group called Children’s Rights.

DHS says Bursch’s firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, is charging $558 an hour. It has been paid $183,823 for work through December.

Bursch was hired by Maura Corrigan who was DHS director. She defends the cost and says Bursch has skills that lawyers in the attorney general’s office don’t possess. Bursch says he can’t comment.

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