Tomorrow the agenda of the Ludington City Council not only has the usual FOIA appeal of an improperly denied FOIA request by yours truly, but they should be going into closed session to discuss the status of what is called the McAdam's Lawsuit with the City of Ludington with their non-City Attorney Allan Vander Laan  (Item 9b). 


What is the McAdam's lawsuit?  At this point I can only make an educated guess, but I believe it more than likely involves the owner of Michael's on the Avenue Sue McAdams and what happened early in the summer of 2010 when the "Girls Gone Wild" bus came into Ludington, and the local officials, in particular, LPD Police Chief Mark Barnett, went... wild. 


Here is an article from the local newspaper that is so friendly to the Ludington City Hallers that it is now affectionately called the City of Ludington Daily News or COLDNews by those in the know. 


"...an appearance Thursday by the Girls Gone Wild bus drew many viewers, at least a few protesters and prompted what appears to have been a parking blockade that limited where the bus could park.

The visit, part of a promotion at Michael’s Bar and Grille in downtown Ludington, also prompted city officials to gather and review with its attorney, Richard Wilson of Gockerman, Wilson, Saylor and Hesslund of Manistee, what, if anything, could or should be done about what was billed as a “bikini party.” ... Michael’s owner Sue McAdam Thurday afternoon told the Daily News, “My intentions are good. I have no intentions of demoralizing our community. I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with it.”

Ludington Police Chief Mark Barnett met with the bus crew prior to the show while it was parked at the Holiday Inn, where the crew stayed overnight,

He said he told them, “I would like to see an event where no girls were being filmed in the bus and no girls were taken to the bus and they lived up to that, and kept their promise that they wouldn’t take any girls to the bus and they wouldn’t film on the bus,” he said....

“I am not condoning what Girls Gone Wild does and I’m not promoting that,”  she (McAdam) said.

“I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal,” she continued. She said it was a business decision following a financially difficult winter. She said the establishment is behind on its taxes and is trying to get back to even.

“We won’t have them back. I apologize, but it was a business decision. What’s the big deal?”


Reader's comment at the bottom of the article go both ways, but one of the poster's "Sherry" says something that may have become reality:  "The people on the ggw bus did NOT break the law. The people at the bar did NOT break the law. The people from the churches, they DID break the law. The chief of police, He DID break the law. The article in the paper said the leaders of this town conferred with their lawyer before taking action. I think the bar owners should confer with their lawyers cause they have a lawsuit against the city. And they will win..." 


With a variety of actions done by the City of Ludington to suppress the expression of free speech, started by Chief Barnett supported by the Manistee-based City Attorneys and other City Hallers who should know better (where have I heard this story before?) their questionable actions bespeak a germination of a lawsuit by Sue McAdams on this aspect alone.  I will do some more research, and get back to this thread on the specifics I uncover, and would appreciate any more factual information supplied by anyone who knows anything about this lawsuit to be disseminated to the public at large on this website.  As far as the COLDNews, they have reported nothing to the public as of yet, not even in discussing what is scheduled to happen at the City Council meeting tomorrow when this is scheduled to go into closed session. 

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Although I can understand why the Chief acted the way he did, he definitely was way out of bounds by trying to enforce his and the City authority's moral standards on the citizens they represent. My understanding was that this was going to be bikini clad females only not a partially nude venue. Anyone can go down to the beach and see the same thing on any warm and sunny day and I don't see the police running around with blankets trying to cover up all that exposed skin. The decision to lean on a local business owner and enforce a moral standard they consider acceptable was a big mistake and I would guess that Sue is going to make them pay. And I have to support Sue on this decision of bringing a lawsuit against the City if for nothing else but to let the City know that there are boundaries they must not cross. Between your lawsuit, FOIA's and other law suits it seems the Council has a lot of closed meetings.

I do have a FOIA sent out today to see what's behind all this.  For all I know, this could be about something totally different than the GGW event, because Michael's is not a DDA darling, and the DDA has been doing some questionable things as regards the law (as seen in the Development of Authority series, etc.). 

I will not support Sue just yet until I find out what the problem is, but I would bet my bottom dollar it is warranted, and deserving of support, since it has been kept from us until now.

Now that I'm thinking about it, it seems that the City of Ludington has an unusually high number of lawsuits for a community of it's size and I do believe they have lost or settled every one of them. This also includes Cole's lawsuit and I know he works for the County but his workplace is in Ludington.

When your City Hall fields a corral of 7 City Attorneys led by a City Manager (all who refuse to swear an Oath of Office), you try to steamroll over as many citizens as you can.  Some do fight back, and they get money-- not typically from the corrupt official that didn't do their job right, but from the already overburdened taxpayers.

Overburdened, of course, from indigent FOIA requesters on fishing expeditions (point, smirk).

I jumped the gun on this one. The LDN reported this was about someone named Mcadam being tasered back in 2011. As far as my post regarding the bar, never mind. If you think about it, the information regarding this lawsuit should have been made public a long time ago. The fact that the information regarding this is now coming to the surface only shows how secrecy about public business promotes speculation into what is happening rather than promoting factual opinions and conclusions.



What about Tom Rotta? Is this thread now just another fishing expedition? Did Rotta jump the gun too or have you just totally confused the object of this thread?


Not at all. Tom is meticulous about gathering information but because the information was withheld it sparked speculative assumptions and that is something we all do.


I agree that speculative assumptions (SA's) are OK but SA's should work both ways too. Since this is promoted as a public site for local news then the owners of this site should allow speculative assumptions about this site too.

What information was withheld?


Information about the lawsuit brought against the City by Mcadams. The lawsuit, according to the LDN, was filed back in Feb. of 2011.

Thanks, Willy.  This thread, by its nature, was speculative.  I presented the only stuff I had, which is why I have in the thread head:   "I will do some more research, and get back to this thread on the specifics I uncover, and would appreciate any more factual information supplied by anyone who knows anything about this lawsuit to be disseminated to the public at large on this website."

That's why I made no conclusions other than what is already out there regarding grievances between McAdams and the City.  I am not the only fact gatherer out there, I was hoping to get something.  Doesn't it make one wonder how much trampling is being done on the citizens of Ludington when more than one McAdams could be suing the City? 

I've did a cursory search and can't find anything about it, even in the COLDNews archives.  A FOIA request has been filed, but hopefully Joseph McAdam or his attorney might be able to give us the full scoop.

Under the Open Meetings Act a public body can meet in a closed session (not open to the general public, unless certain members are invited in, like Attorney Van Der Laan).  

Sec 8(e) allows them to do so to consult with a lawyer over settlement strategy in a lawsuit.  They don't have to go into closed session, but they always do, because this is where sausage is made.  sec. 7 also tells a little about such meetings.


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