Court controversy continues at meeting
The heated dispute swirling around the 22nd District Court in Inkster intensified last week during a regular meeting of the city council Monday.
State Rep. Bob Constan was asked to appear at the meeting to address several issues, among them a letter he sent to City Manager Ann Capela and Mayor Hilliard Hampton on Oct. 28 explaining that he was “working on a cost-saving proposal to consolidate the Courts in Inkster and Dearborn Heights so that the 22nd District Court in Inkster can be held in the new Justice Center in Dearborn Heights.”
Councilman Courtney Owens questioned Constan as to the motivation for the letter and asked if Hampton has asked the legislator to pursue the issue. Constan said that he had spoken to several people in the city and that consolidation of services was a cost-saving measure being looked at throughout the state. He did not name Hampton as the source of the inquiry in response to Owens’ question.
Audience members, however, said that Constan told them earlier that Hampton had asked for the legislation to be introduced in the State House, consolidating the courts.
In a phone interview this week, Constan said that as an attorney of 23 years who had appeared in courts throughout the area, he was sensitive to the issues involved. districts based on race.
“I know some people are upset,” he said. Constan said he had spoken to Hampton, City Manager Ann Capela and “some city councilmen” about the issue, which prompted his letter. He noted, too, that he understood that the Inkster City Council had subsequently voted to move the 22nd District Court into the new development on Michigan Avenue.
Owens agreed and said this week that the issue may be a moot point since the council has “given our full faith and credit” to the sale of TIFA (Tax Increment Financing Authority) bonds to fund the new justice center, including a police station and the court, at the new Michigan Avenue location.
Owens did say that during discussions some city resolutions surfaced which he had not seen previously that would give an authority to be named by the TIFA board the right to determine whether the bonds would fund a police station and another entity, “probably a senior center.”
“Who wrote those? Who authorized them? There was no answer to that question,” Owens said. Owens said he attended the meeting of the TIFA board this week to ensure the “mystery” resolutions were no longer a part of the bond sale.
“I think people understand there is something bigger going on than the building of a justice center,” Owens said.
He added that the sale of the bonds is expected to bring in about $7.7 million and, “the developer says he can build it for $7.7.”
State Rep was just in front of the city council here in Dearborn Heights to discuss Garden City Court coming here. What is going on this story is talking about his writing letters to the city of Inkster to move their court here. What kind of game is being played here. Has the Mayor been talking with State Rep Constant behind the scenes.