JACKSON, Mich. — Former Jackson mayoral candidate John Wilson sued City Clerk Andrea Muray and Assistant City Manager Shane LaPorte over campaign sign placement during the 2021 election. That lawsuit has been dismissed.
The case was heard by Jackson County’s Fourth Circuit Court Judge Richard LaFlamme. Muray and LaPorte’s attorneys from Plunkett Cooney motioned for a summary disposition, which is a motion when any party believes there is no genuine issues of material fact to be determined and is designed to resolve a lawsuit before going to court, which was granted on Aug. 15.
Wilson said in a statement to FOX 47 News that Judge LaFlamme’s ruling to dismiss his lawsuit is a “travesty of what’s supposed to be blind justice.”
“My lawsuit alleging gross negligence on the defendants should have been allowed to proceed to a jury trial that would have allowed a jury of my peers to decide innocence or guilt,” he said. “Judge LaFlamme agreed with the city’s contracted attorney firm and their claim that previous case laws were relevant to my lawsuit. Case laws that no had no direct or indirect correlation on my lawsuit. A tenant of our democracy and the integrity of the election process is a fair election and the rule of law, both of which were denied to me.”
The city of Jackson’s Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick said in a statement to FOX 47 News, “Mr. Wilson’s second lawsuit seeking to overturn a valid and lawful city election was as factually and legally baseless as his first lawsuit, which the circuit court also summarily dismissed. The city of Jackson, Mr. LaPorte and Clerk Muray are grateful for the court’s time and attention and for again affirming Mr. Wilson has no cause of action resulting from his 2021 election loss.”
The lawsuit stems from the 2021 mayoral election where Wilson lost in a tight race to Daniel Mahoney. Wilson alleged signs promoting Mahoney for Mayor were too close to polling locations.
Election law states campaign signs and materials cannot be placed within 100 feet of polling locations.
In the complaint, Wilson says he spoke directly with Muray on the phone to report sign placement but nothing was done. He also says he spoke with LaPorte through text to report sign placement violations.
Wilson previously sued WLNS for publishing a story that said he lost the Jackson mayoral race before polls closed on Election Day. That lawsuit was settled. He also sued the city of Jackson over election sign placement issues, but that lawsuit was dismissed in April.
Documents show Judge LaFlamme ruled Wilson was not suing a governmental employee but was suing the city in the April lawsuit, which allowed the city’s attorneys to request a summary disposition for dismissal.
This prompted Wilson to name Muray and LaPorte in the second lawsuit.
Wilson said this may not be the end of the road as he looking into a possible appeal.
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