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Opponents of a plan that would have 35 acres at the Michigan State Fairgrounds purchased by Detroit Public Schools — with middlemen pocketing a cool $11 million in profit on the deal — suffered a severe setback in Wayne Country Circuit Court last week when Judge Susan Bieke Neilson refused to issue an injunction halting the deal.

In Neilson’s opinion, the group of six taxpayers attempting to block the sale have no legal standing that allows them to seek the court’s help in stopping the deal.

In issuing her decision, Neilson took a swipe at attorney George Ward, the former No. 2 man in the Wayne Country Prosecutor’s Office who is representing the taxpayers pro bono.

Referring to Ward’s reliance on a particular case to support his clients’ right to bring suit, Neilson wrote, “To say that the excerpts … are quoted out of context is a drastic understatement.”

But Ward and the taxpayers he represents are undeterred. Calling the judge’s decision a “non sequitur,” he told News Hits last Thursday that an appeal was already in the works.

Like they say on TV, stay tuned. This one’s not over quite yet.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail

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