Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mr.Burns Goes to Jail

Detroit has its very own Mr.Burns, in the form of Aging billionaire Matty Moroun. Owner of the Ambassador Bridge, High rolling contributor to easily bought politicians, Detroit's top Slumlord, and owner of the abandoned and decrepit Detroit-Ruin-Porn-Mecca that is Michigan Central Station. Unsurprisingly, the guy is not very highly thought of in Detroit.

Thus, it was with cheers of glee and disbelief that we read in the Detroit Free Press that Matty Moroun and one of his senior Henchmen had been JAILED after being found in contempt of court.

Screen grab courtesy of the Free Press

Guess you can't buy off the justice system that easily, Mr. Burns.

Some background excerpted from this morning's Free Press Article by Matt Helms and John Gallagher :

The dispute stems from the long-delayed Gateway project at the Ambassador Bridge. In planning since the 1990s, the Gateway project is meant to connect the Ambassador Bridge directly to I-75 and I-96 through a series of new ramps and roads so that truckers and other motorists can bypass local surface streets.
Under a 2004 contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation, both the Detroit International Bridge Co. and MDOT were to carry out distinct portions of the Gateway work. But MDOT sued in 2009 after its saw that the bridge company was not building its portion according to what MDOT said was the agreed-upon design. Instead, the company built a roadway that took traffic past the company’s lucrative duty-free store and fuel pumps, and that kept thousands of trucks bound for expressways on Fort and other local surface streets.
The Free Press reported last year that the duty-free fuel pumps alone could be worth millions of dollars a year in revenue to the bridge company.
Edwards ruled against the bridge company in February 2010, ordering the company to rebuild its portion of the project even if it meant ripping out the duty-free facilities. Since then, MDOT has told Edwards repeatedly that the bridge company was stalling. Edwards agreed, finding the company in contempt of court, and last January jailing DIBC President Dan Stamper for a few hours as a way to force compliance.
Since then, MDOT continued to argue that the bridge company was still not complying, even through the bridge company said it was proceeding as fast as it could with the reconstruction. Last November, Edwards again found the company in contempt of court and said he would impose penalties on Jan. 12. He ordered both Stamper and Moroun to appear in person for the penalty hearing, which to some observers raised the possibility that Edwards might jail one or both men.
In his contempt finding in November, Edwards ruled that there was “clear and unequivocal" evidence that the company had tried to evade his Feb. 1, 2010, order to complete Gateway as ordered. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Detroit, get that bridge built. I'm stuck in traffic!

    Think Billion$