Nothing to gag about 

Being big fans of the First Amendment, News Hits was appalled when Maurice Lezell, aka Mr. Belvedere, asked an Oakland County Circuit Court judge to order his former employee, Marianne DiGrande, to not talk to the press.

As our readers know, DiGrande, who worked for Lezell for 26 years, is suing Belvedere Construction Inc. She accuses Lezell of firing her for complaining about salesmen who allegedly overcharged elderly African-American customers.

After our story (“Mr. Belvedere goes to court,” Metro Times, Sept. 25-Oct. 1) appeared, Lezell’s lawyer asked judge Alice L. Gilbert to impose a gag order on DiGrande and her attorney, Jeff Ellison. Lezell also asked Gilbert to postpone the trial, which is scheduled to begin next week, claiming that the Metro Times story could prejudice the public.

Last week, Gilbert said, no, no and no. To honor the judge, News Hits came up with this slogan: “She does good work.” See you in court, Lezell.

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