Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bridge company twofer? Riverside Park case back in court

Posted By on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Now that Judge Prentis Edwards has dropped the hammer on the Detroit International Bridge Co., will fellow Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Macdonald follow his lead and send a strong message of her own to the company owned by Manuel “Matty” Moroun?

On Monday, as we all now know, Edwards sent bridge company president Dan Stamper to the slammer for the afternoon for contempt of court. The message was clear: no more dicking around.

The case before Edwards involves a lawsuit brought by the Michigan Department of Transportation, which sued in an attempt to get the DIBC to fulfill its part of the public/private Gateway Project. Nearly a year after the company failed to comply with Edwards’ order to do the work it was contractually obligate to perform, the judge said enough.

The case before Macdonald concerns the company’s commandeering of a section of Riverside Park. A district court has already ruled the company is illegally occupying the land. As is typical for the bridge company, they are attempting to drag out the issue. The city has been in court for more than two years now trying to get its land back. The company has absolutely no legal claim to the property yet it continues to try and cloud the issue by claiming the fence is needed for national security purposes. The real deal is that DIBC wants the land so it can construct a hoped-for second span of its Ambassador Bridge.

As with the Gateway case, this fiasco has been going on for far too long and needs to come to an end.

The case will be back in Macdonald’s courtroom next Thursday,  Jan. 20.

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