Matakas sued in federal court over arrest

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — The mayor was granted an extension to answer a federal lawsuit filed against him as mayor and as an individual resulting from a 2013 city council meeting.

Resident Matthew Tracer is suing Mayor William Matakas alleging Matakas kept him from speaking, false arrest, retaliation, abuse of process and malicious prosecution. Tracer also cites the events caused emotional distress and he has to move from the city after 46 years because he fears further wrongful imprisonment and trumped charges.

Matakas originally had 21 days to file his response, but a United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan judge allowed the defendants until July 7 to file.

Tracer said he was removed from a May 14, 2013, City Council meeting alleging police were making false statements and were performing illegal and improper acts.

A source at the meeting said Tracer reportedly clucked like a chicken and called the mayor a coward. Matakas then ordered Tracer removed from the meeting because he was causing a disturbance.

Afterward, Tracer obtained a transcription of a radio transaction where he was referred to as a “loon.” Tracer allegedly made it known shortly before the following council meeting that he was going to share that information during public comments.

However, Tracer’s attorney, Raymond Guzall III, said his client didn’t get the chance because Matakas had him arrested moments before the May 28, 2013, meeting for causing a disturbance during the May 14, meeting.

According to the Rules of Decorum, which the city claims to observe, an offense during the meeting needs to be addressed at that meeting.

“The mayor was trying to shut him down and shut him up,” Guzall said referring to Tracer.

This isn’t Tracer’s first encounter with suing the city. He sued the city earlier for an illegal arrest where police allegedly broke his ribs. That case was settled out of court.

This also isn’t his attorney’s first time. Guzall has had various encounters in court with the city, including nearly 11 years ago when late resident Curtis McGuire was arrested during a council meeting.

Guzall said McGuire was arrested while speaking on matters. The case was settled out of court.

When asked if these kind of cases were unique, Guzall responded, “Unique? Not in terms of Allen Park. It’s not unique to me to sue Allen Park for their unlawful activity.”

Matakas did not respond to calls and emails to his office by press time.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at tnims@bewickpublications.com)

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