Ambassador Bridge president lands a contempt charge

| 1/10/2011

Eleven months ago, a Michigan judge ordered the owner of the Ambassador Bridge to demolish structures that the company built on property that the company didn’t own. On Monday, Jan. 10, the judge ordered the company’s president, Dan Stamper, to jail on a contempt charge for not following through with the order.

Stamper heads the Detroit International Bridge Co., one of the many companies owned by business mogul Matty Moroun. The company operates the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest commercial border crossing between the U.S. and Canada, located at Detroit-Windsor.

According to Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Prentis Edwards, the company illegally built fuel pumps, toll booths and part of a duty-free store on land Moroun did not own in southwestern Detroit. The company built the structures as part of its $230 million Gateway Project to expand bridge access and its business plaza.

The Michigan Department of Transportation sued the bridge company over the proper access to Interstates 75 and 96.

As of midday, it was not known how long Stamper would spend in a holding cell. He was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and court costs.

According to media reports, Judge Edwards also reiterated his order that the bridge company comply with demolishing the “illegal” structures.

In a statement released to media in December 2010, Stamper stated that the DBIC had settled its land dispute with a private company and that he was looking forward to a similar outcome with the Michigan DOT.

See related story:
Court orders Moroun to demolish duty-free store