Moroun, Stamper lose appeal of judge’s order jailing them in Gateway dispute

By John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge to appeal a judge’s order that put them briefly in jail in January.

The Michigan Court of Appeals already had rejected an appeal by bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun and his top aide, Dan Stamper, of Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards’ ruling that that jailed Moroun and Stamper for civil contempt for stalling on completing the Gateway project at the Ambassador Bridge.

The Supreme Court said Tuesday it would not take up the case “because we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.”

After the two spent about 30 hours in Wayne County jail, the bridge owners testified that they are ceding control of Gateway to outsiders and have begun to demolish the controversial Pier 19 that came to symbolize the dispute.

A hearing is set for Thursday before Edwards to review progress on completing the project which stems from the $230-million effort by MDOT and the bridge company to ease congestion at the border by connecting the bridge directly to nearby interstates through a series of new ramps.