Depositions set in removal from meeting case

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — Attorneys for Mayor William Matakas filed an answer to a complaint lodged against the city official following an extension to do so, and attorneys for both the mayor and alleged victim are headed for August depositions.

Resident Matthew Tracer filed a complaint in the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan against Matakas as a city employee and as an individual, stemming from reported incidents in two 2013 City Council meetings.

Tracer alleges the mayor kept him from speaking at a meeting and had him falsely arrested. The complaint also cites retaliation, abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

Tracer’s attorney, Raymond Guzall III, said the incident caused his client emotional distress and he had to move to another city after 46 years of residency because he fears wrongful imprisonment and trumped-up charges.

“Discovery may continue until November or December,” said Guzall of the case. “It’s dependent on the (federal) court’s guidelines.”

Tracer said he was removed from a May 14, 2013, council meeting where he alleged police were making false statements and 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 police radio transmission 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.

Guzall said his client didn’t have the chance because Matakas had Tracer arrested for causing a disturbance during the May 14 meeting just moments before the May 28, 2013, meeting. Rules of Decorum state the offense needs to be addressed during the same meeting in which it occurred. Not at a different meeting.

Guzall said Matakas was just trying to shut Tracer up.

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

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