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Wayne County Circuit Court jury awards $2.3 Million in Malicious Prosecution case


Posted on Sep 29, 2005

Jury awards Prose $2.3 million BY TONY BRUSCATO STAFF WRITER A six-member Wayne County Circuit Court jury has awarded former Plymouth resident Tom Prose $2.3 million in a lawsuit filed against former Community Crier publisher W. Edward Wendover and his wife, Sally Repeck. After eight days of testimony, the jury deliberated three hours before agreeing with Prose in finding the pair liable on two counts of malicious prosecution, in connection with a September 1999 lawsuit in which Prose claimed his civil rights were violated when Wendover, city officials and city police conspired to file charges of disorderly conduct. "I do feel vindicated," said Prose, who now lives and operates his business in Northville Township, of the Sept. 20 verdict. "It's been a lot of years, but a good result." Wendover, and his attorney Michael Donaldson, who lives in Plymouth, declined comment on the verdict. "There are legal issues that will be taken up on appeal," said Donaldson. The troubles began in November 1998 when Prose, whose former offices were located on Penniman near Main Street, and Wendover argued over an easement in the rear of the building on Fleet Street, which belonged to Prose but was used by Wendover as a loading dock for the newspaper. That issue became secondary as Prose focused on two charges of disorderly conduct filed against him. The first resulted in Prose being detained by police. In the second incident, Prose was ticketed for swearing at women and children. Both of the disorderly charges were eventually dropped, then reinstated by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. They were eventually changed to stalking charges, and also dismissed. Prose filed two $700 million lawsuits, one in federal court and the other in Wayne County Circuit Court. Along with Wendover and Repeck, defendants included former Plymouth police chief Bob Scoggins, Lt. Ed Ochal, former Crier employee Mike Carne, former Plymouth mayors Don Dismuke and Joe Koch and former city manager Steve Walters. In March 2002, U.S. District Court Judge John O'Meara ruled Plymouth police officers acted properly when they arrested Prose. The case eventually landed in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which affirmed O'Meara's ruling and dismissed the case. In the state case, everyone except Wendover and Repeck were dismissed as defendants.

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