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Tried and Trudel 

It seems that wherever Gerard Trudel goes, controversy follows.

The former Allen Park City Council member, alleged sexual harasser and ousted judge shed his scandal-stained robe in 2003 and acquired the keys to a rock ’n’ roll café in downtown Allen Park. One year and two lawsuits later, Trudel has finally received the certificate of occupancy necessary to open his Monterey Music Café.

Trudel, who served as a 24th District judge for 10 years, has a turbulent history. In January 2002, the then-judge received a 90-day suspension and was publicly censured for allegedly posting a sexually suggestive remark on the computer of a female court employee. A subsequent report alleged that, among other things, the kisses and hugs he laid on female court employees were, shall we say, unwelcome.

But that was just the start of his problems. The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission filed a formal complaint against him, alleging numerous offenses including “fraudulently attempting to obtain disability benefits; claiming a mental inability to work and taking extended absences as a result during which [Trudel] vacationed in California,” and “harassing, intimidating and taking retaliatory action against former and current court employees, their spouses and certain City of Allen Park officials.”

“He’s essentially a con artist,” Paul Fisher, executive director of the Judicial Discipline Board, was quoted as saying at the time.

With expulsion imminent, Trudel retired from the bench in February 2003. He used his newly acquired free time to prepare the Monterey Music Café for operation.

And, surprise, surprise, a new dust-up ensued.

Trudel says his club, located at 6560 Allen Road, has been ready for business since July 2003. He blames the city for the delay. On the café’s Web site (, he stated, “beginning in June 2003, Public Officials elected and employed by the City of Allen Park, started to intentionally interfere with our opening of the Monterey Music Café. From July through September 2003, the Allen Park Building Department refused to perform any inspections.”

So he sued them.

Trudel says that the city eventually performed the inspections, but then intentionally delayed the issuance of the certificate of occupancy. So he sued them again.

In the latest lawsuit, filed March 29, Trudel charged the city and nine other defendants with everything from civil conspiracy to intentional infliction of emotional distress, with defamation and civil rights violations thrown in for good measure.

A week later, Trudel filed a complaint with the state’s Bureau of Construction Codes and Fire Safety in Lansing against the City Building Department’s administration and enforcement of the Michigan Building Code. In his complaint, Trudel claimed that “City of Allen Park Administrators ordered all building officials not to issue building permits” to him in June 2003, then “ordered all building officials not to Perform building code inspections, as requested” by Trudel.

City officials refused to comment on any aspect of the dispute.

As for Trudel, he was more than happy to talk. At least initially. But now that the occupancy certificate has been issued, he too has clammed up. No word on when the establishment will actually be open. We checked last week, and found the place locked.

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