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Presque Isle County board rejects suit settlement

ROGERS CITY — The Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday rejected a proposal to settle a lawsuit filed by an Oakland County man who claims the county breached a contract by allowing the Leo E. Goetz Airport to close.

Officials refused to disclose the amount of the proposed settlement.

Anthony Wyatt filed a lawsuit in the 53rd Circuit Court seeking more than $25,000. Wyatt claims the county violated the terms of his lease for hangar space at the airport in Onaway by allowing the property to fall into disrepair and close before his contract was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

The county board in August voted to give the property to the Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op so the nonprofit utility could build a new headquarters there.

County commissioners on Wednesday briefly met behind closed doors to discuss the proposed settlement with attorney Joe Kwiatkowski, whom they hired as special legal counsel in the case. Commissioners rejected the settlement unanimously, although Commissioner Michael Darga did not attend the meeting Wednesday.

“They made an offer, we rejected it,” Kwiatkowski said.

Kwiatkowski refused to comment further. Kwiatkowski previously told The News he believes it’s a “frivolous” lawsuit and he still plans to make that argument at some point during the case.

Both parties are expected to be back in court at 9 a.m. March 18 for a status conference.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.

In other business

The Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday also:

∫ accepted, with regret, the resignation of Drain Commissioner Mary Ann Hiedemann, effective Dec. 31, 2020. Hiedemann recently became a staff writer with The Presque Isle County Advance, telling commissioners she doesn’t “have the mental energy to do both jobs” well. The drain commissioners term runs through Dec. 31, 2020. County Clerk Ann Marie Main said the county will advertise the position and the county’s election commission — Probate Judge Erik Stone, Prosecutor Ken Radzibon, and Main — will appoint a new drain commissioner to fill the remainder of the term.