Billionaire Detroit bridge owner released from jail

Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:52am EST

1 of 3. Manuel 'Matty' Moroun (L), an owner of the company that controls the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit with Windsor, Canada, and company executive Dan Stamper are seen in a combination of booking photos provided to Reuters by Wayne County Sheriff's Office January 12, 2012. A judge ordered the 84-year-old billionaire Moroun to jail on Thursday after finding him in contempt for failing to complete a construction project at Detroit's Ambassador Bridge, the busiest crossing between the United States and Canada.

Credit: Reuters/Wayne County Sheriff's Office/Handout

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(Reuters) - The billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest crossing between the United States and Canada, was released after one night from the jail where a judge ordered him held for failing to complete a road construction project.

Manuel "Matty" Moroun, 84, who controls the Detroit International Bridge Co, and company President Dan Stamper were ordered jailed on Thursday by a Wayne County judge until they complied with his order in February 2010 to complete the project or until they no longer have the power to do so.

The Michigan Court of Appeals on Friday ordered both men freed while they appealed the contempt ruling by Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards. The court scheduled oral arguments in the appeal on February 2.

"All other aspects of the order are not stayed during the pendency of this appeal," the appeals court ruled.

Representatives of the bridge company said they had no comment on the appeals court ruling.

The Ambassador Bridge provides the main access for trucks between Detroit and Windsor, Canada, linking auto parts and assembly plants on both sides of the border.

The project agreed to by Moroun's company and Michigan was intended to link the bridge with Interstates 75 and 96 directly.

Instead, the company's construction of the project left heavy vehicle traffic on neighborhood streets.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis, editing by Ian Simpson)

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Comments (12)
FatherJames wrote:
…If you or I ignored a court order to complete a contract for about a year, we’d have been in jail a long time ago. I am no howling marxist… but unfortunately there is in fact justice for the rich and justice for everybody else…

Jan 14, 2012 1:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
yooper1 wrote:
And this is the same man who spent millions the past year trying, successfully unfortunately,to block construction of another bridge which would have helped with the traffic flow there. I say lock his sorry, greedy a** up and keep him there until the court order has been completely satisfied.

Jan 14, 2012 6:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Kinoeagle wrote:
GREED.Why do people not act fairly? Jeesh. You cannot take it with you.

Jan 14, 2012 7:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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