I was having something of a lousy day until I pulled up the Huffington Post’s latest Detroit headline.

What? Manuel Matty Moroun going to jail, you say, Huffpo? Today just got better. 

Moroun is the sole reason for the hold-ups impeding the construction of an additional bridge connecting Windsor and Detroit, a seriously important trade route with our largest trading partner. Moroun owns the only current bridge connecting Detroit to Canada, the Ambassador Bridge, and with it, gleans the significant profits not only from the monopoly he has on transit, but also because he is able to use this as a platform to sell gasoline. In his efforts to prevent a competitor bridge, Moroun bought off Republican state senators and heavily lobbies to protect his interests. 

Admittedly, Moroun is not being thrown in jail for these charges. He appeared in court to face sentencing on contempt of court charges because he failed to connect the Ambassador Bridge to neighboring freeways, construction known as the Gateway Project. Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards delivered a sentence that placed Moroun in jail pending completion of the Gateway Project. In typical Moroun fashion, he’s tried to wriggle out of this with the aid of his lawyers: he’s tried resigning, and claimed not to own DIBC, the construction company charged with completing the project.

Seriously. Awesome. Moroun has harmed job growth, wasted taxpayer money, and done everything in his power to stop Governor Snyder  (who’s done a good job on pressing the issue) from doing what Michigan elected him to do: jobs. Jobs happen with increases in trade. The new bridge will increase trade. 

This sentence isn’t about the new bridge, but what is encouraging is that the courts show willingness to hold Moroun accountable. The guy owns the old rail station in Detroit, and is just sitting on it, refusing to sell or allow any improvement to the burned-out building. This isn’t addressing the root of the problem, but at least it’s a step in addressing the failed democratic process that hampers Detroit. 



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