Moroun, Stamper in clear for now on bridge project

Published On: Feb 09 2012 06:12:19 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 09 2012 01:09:08 PM EST

The threat of jail for the owner of the Ambassador Bridge appears to be diminished after the latest court hearing about a construction project on the U.S. side of the international crossing.

DETROIT -

The billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge is spending the big bucks to take his fight with a Wayne County Circuit Court judge to the Michigan Supreme Court.

“This is America. We have a right to pursue our legal remedies, just like every one else,” said Detroit International Bridge Co. attorney Godfrey Dillard

Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards jailed 84-year-old Manuel "Matty" Moroun and bridge company President Dan Stamper on Jan. 12 after he ruled they'd repeatedly ignored his orders to cooperate with the state on a $230 million project to link the span to Canada with Michigan expressways.
The Michigan Court of Appeals freed Moroun and Stamper the next day. The court ruled Monday that Edwards had the right to jail Moroun and Stamper but needed to specify what steps they had to follow to gain release.
On Wednesday, the Detroit International Bridge Co. said it would obey Edwards' orders but filed a motion asking Prentis to disqualify himself because they say he has made prejudicial decisions against them in favor of the state and has an inappropriate relationship with Gov. Rick Snyder.

Prentis denied the motion.

During a hearing Thursday, Prentis made Moroun and Stamper raise their right hands and swear to finish the project.

The next hearing is March 8.

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