Court overturns gag order in Wayne County jail scandal

The court says Judge Vonda Evans' gag order is a "prior restraint on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press"


Associated Press

DETROIT — The Michigan appeals court has struck down an order that bars lawyers and others from talking about a criminal case related to a disastrous Wayne County jail project.

The court says Judge Vonda Evans' gag order is a "prior restraint on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press."

In a 3-0 decision Friday, the court ruled in favor of the Detroit Free Press.

Former county chief financial officer Carla Sledge is charged with giving false or misleading information about the cost of a new jail. Construction stopped more than two years ago because the project near Ford Field was wildly over budget.

Charges against lawyer Steven Collins were recently dismissed.

The unfinished jail is an eyesore in Detroit, across from the county courthouse.

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