A Court of Claims judge on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit brought by Marenisco Township to block the closure of the Ojibway Correctional Facility.
The prison is scheduled to close on Saturday, with 203 employees’ jobs on the line.
Upper Peninsula State Senator-elect Ed McBroom was outspoken during the campaign against that decision to close the western U-P prison, saying that the township hadn’t been given enough time to prepare for the economic fallout from that decision. He tells the Radio Results Network that the state had not done the work required under the law that governs the closure of such facilities.
“I’m pretty disappointed about it,” McBrom told RRN News. “I thought that our case was a good argument, that the state had not properly followed the real spirit of the law, which required them to do a financial analysis before they move forward with the closures. To me, it was barely enough to even qualify for the letter of the law. It was old data and old information. I thought we made a good argument but the judge didn’t agree.”
Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said the decision was the right one.
“We are pleased to see resolution to this question by the court, so the community and our employees have certainty and can plan accordingly as final preparations are made to close the facility on Dec. 1,” she said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our employees as they make their transition to other facilities, while continuing to operate the Ojibway Correctional Facility safely and securely until the closure process is complete.”
McBroom says he’s not letting it go.
“Hopefully we can get the incoming (Whitmer) administration and the new legislature to look at reconsidering. If we can make a compelling argument about why this was a mistake.”