City manager criticizes Rotta

June 25, 2013

LUDINGTON – Ludington’s City Manager John Shay let an outspoken citizen know just what he thought about him Monday during the city council meeting. Shay normally keeps his demeanor when dealing with outspoken critic Tom Rotta during the public meetings, however, Monday was the exception.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Rotta made reference to how he had recently won a law suit against the city (see the previous story here).

The lawsuit stemmed from Rotta being prohibited from entering city hall because several city employees had felt threatened by him. Instead of going to court the city council chose to settle for $15,000.

Later, towards the end of the meeting, Shay had his say.

“Mr. Rotta indicated he won the lawsuit. That is not correct. It was settled. There was not any factual basis of any of his claims and he was not banned from city hall because of the 195 FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) submissions. We filed the no trespass order because of our employees who felt threatened by him. Quite frankly, there is a side of me who understands that. He took a family photo of my family without permission and placed it on his website with a slash mark over our images. He took photos of my house. While he is entitled to take photos of my house, my kids’ teachers started expressing concern if my kids were safe.

“He has brought up allegations of corruption and lining of pockets. I can say my pockets aren’t being lined.”

Then, Shay directed his comment to Rotta. “You mentioned earlier about the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would like them to treat you. It’s strange that you don’t even follow your own rule.”

Shay’s comments were met by applause by several audience members and several members of the council.

In a statement issued last week by J. Nicholas Bostic, Rotta’s attorney, in response to the lawsuit settlement, Bostic said there was never a threat to city employees. “The alleged safety issue was a scam… It was based on a claim that the frightened employee was told by yet another person that Mr. Rotta was near her home. In fact, he was never near her home but he had published her address on The Torch (Rotta’s website) as part of exposing some of the questionable practices. There was never a threat to any employee and the real purpose of the letter was retaliation for being exposed.”



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