Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has called for a grand jury investigation into an outbreak of meningitis and other illnesses caused by tainted steroids.
As we hear from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta, the contaminated medicine has been linked to 259 cases of illness and 14 deaths in the state.
The attorney general filed his request with the Michigan Court of Appeals. If the court says yes, a judge and up to 17 grand jurors would conduct the inquiry into whether any crimes were committed. The proceedings would be secret.
It’s an unusual step, but Schuette says the grand jury would have sweeping authority to do its job.
“We’re going to find justice, and we’re going to find truth,” he says.
The grand jury would have the power to compel witnesses to appear and testify, including people from the four Michigan clinics that administered the injections. And it could ask a Massachusetts court to order employees of the pharmacy that made the drug to cooperate. Those are powers state investigators don’t have on their own.