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Judge dismisses Scott Chappelle's lawsuit again East Lansing Info

Scott Chappelle lawsuit against ELi and Alice Dreger
Posted at 11:51 PM, Oct 31, 2021

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The lawsuit filed by East Lansing real estate developer Scott Chappelle against the non-profit news organization East Lansing Info and its director Alice Dreger has been dismissed.

“Not surprised," said Dreger's lawyer Brian Wassom. "Gratified for sure.”

Chappelle tried for years to get a development in East Lansing called Center City II off the ground. It failed and other developments now stand where it was supposed to be.

In June of 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Chappeller for tax and bank fraud and Dreger published an article on East Lansing Info and an essay on Public Response.

Chappelle's attorney Daniel Powell told FOX 47 in July that the article did not focus on Chappelle's indictment. In his most recent statement Powell said, "We filed this lawsuit because a decades-long attacks by the defendants on Mr. Chappelle and his companies.”

Wassom said East Lansing Info sought to dismiss the case when it was originally filed in Washtenaw County, but they were denied. They refiled a dismissal when the case was transferred to Ingham County.

“We had to refile it here in front of the original judge assigned to the case and then we refiled again after they amended their complaint in response to those complaints,” Wassom said.

Judge Joyce Draganchuk granted the motion to dismiss in full.

“She ruled as a matter of law that there’s no fact, no evidence that Mr. Chappelle can generate that would make his claim viable as a matter of law,” Wassom said.

Wassom said he and Dreger were pleased with the outcome.

“You never know what another person's going to do with a case so definitely was hoping and anticipating this result and pleased to see it,” he said.

However, Chappelle's attorney was disappointed.

“Although we certainly do not agree with today’s ruling dismissing the remaining defendants in this lawsuit, we are pleased with the progress we have made thus far and will evaluate our options as to Ms. Dreger and ELi in due course,” Powell wrote.

Wassom said Chappelle and Dreger can choose to not do anything else or file new motions.

“Both sides have the option to do post judgment motions and things of that nature," Wassom said. "Mr. Chappelle has the right to appeal if he chooses to do that so we’ll see where it goes.”

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