Stall tactics 

Here's the latest twist in state Sen. Ray Basham's long-running battle to pry public information from the Board of Trustees of the Detroit Policemen and Fireman Retirement Systems: Even though he appears to be winning, Basham and the people he represents could end up losing big.

Readers of Metro Times may recall last week's story about the Taylor Democrat's battle to obtain retirement fund records regarding loans made to a private company that plans to dispose of up to 50 million gallons of hazardous waste in Basham's district ("For the record," Metro Times, July 2-8).

Birmingham-based Environmental Disposal Systems (EDS) has constructed two 4,700-foot-deep wells in Romulus. The pension board, a public body, has provided at least $12 million for the project, which Basham and many area residents oppose. They fear that the waste may contaminate drinking water.

Pension board trustees stopped turning over documents after opponents began using the information to fight the well project. In 2001, Basham sued in Wayne County Circuit Court to keep the public info flowing.

Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled last year that the Retirement Systems must turn over the records. However, Basham told us he never received the ruling or the documents.

Stephens reissued the ruling last week. However, the pension board asked that it not be forced to release the records pending an appeal, and Stephens agreed.

"An appeal could go on for a year," says Basham, who fears that the project may be up and running before the appeal concludes.

Attorney Ronald Zajac, who represents the trustees, did not return News Hits’ calls.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation