Reporting Sandra McNeill
DETROIT (WWJ) – The Ambassador Bridge owner’s son says the judge should never have thrown an 84-year-old man in jail.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil, Matthew Moroun said his father was blindsided by the judge’s order.
“No jury, no nothin’. He didn’t even get to say hello and the judge puts him in jail and then writes in there, ‘Well you can come out when you’re all done with the construction project,’” said Moroun. “Well, we are done. The judge won’t even tell us what to do next. So, basically, he sent him to jail forever.”
Hear the interview:
Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards ordered ”Matty” Moroun, owner of the Ambassador Bridge, and Dan Stamper, president of the Ambassador Bridge Company, jailed for failing to meet deadlines on the so-called “Gateway Project.” The Morouns have fought for years, through counter-suits, legislative efforts, and stalling, to force the state not to build a publicly-owned bridge to Canada that could detract from theirs.
Lawyers for Moroun and Stamper asked the Michigan appeals court to release immediately, saying their clients’ rights have been violated. That request was denied.
So, why hasn’t the bridge company complied with previous orders to fix the roads leading up to the Detroit-Windsor bridge? The younger Moroun said they are waiting for more details.
“We asked the judge to come out and take a site visit, to look at it himself. He denied it. We asked him that three times,” said Moroun. “We asked him to clarify his order so that we could understand it, so that we’d have a hope or a prayer of trying to follow it.”
Moroun said this isn’t about the legal process – it’s personal.
“This is about personal vendetta by the judge against my family,” he said. “Now, I don’t know how it got started. Maybe it got started because the governor appointed the judge’s son.”
Moroun said he hasn’t been able to see his father but he spoke with him this morning by phone.
“He’s trying to be strong because he knows how crazy this is. And he’s looking for vindication and, hopefully, some due process,” he said.
As for the resignations of Matty Moroun and Dan Stamper from the bridge ownership company before the hearing, the younger Moroun said they were not accepted.
Meantime, attorneys for Moroun filed a second appeal for his release from jail on Friday.