Michigan Man Arrested for Speaking for More than 3 Minutes at Township Meeting

| by Lina Batarags

A Bridgeport Township man was arrested on March 4 for exceeding the three-minute time limit allotted to people wishing to make public comments during a Township meeting.

Mark A. Adams, 59, now faces a felony charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer, and a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

Before speaking, Adams handed a four-page document to members of the board; he also offered the document, which was marked with an Adams Oil logo and his contact information, to others at the meeting.

The document outlined 21 grievances against Bridgeport Township officials and other government officials. Amongst these grievances were the government’s violation of the state open meetings act and Freedom of Information Act. It also made claims of police harassment, corruption, hate crimes, trespassing and tax fraud.

After Adams exceeded the three-minute time span and disobeyed officials’ orders to stop talking, he was arrested by Bridgeport Township officers.

Bridgeport Township Manager Rose Licht said that Adams had been escorted out of meetings on two prior occasions.

“He was asked to wrap it up by the township supervisor and he refused and continued to talk over him,” Licht said of the recent incident.

“Several times the supervisor asked him to take a seat and he refused and the police department asked him to have a seat and took him out of the building,” Licht continued. She noted that if he had wrapped up his speech in the allotted time, he “would have been fine.”

Licht explained that issues between Adams and the township are part of a “long-time dispute.” The issues are centered around vacant land that Adams owns in Bridgeport Township, and compliance with township ordinances.

On March 14, Adams was arraigned by Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank, who entered a not guilty plea on Adams’ behalf.

Adams was released on a $7,500 personal recognizance bond, and faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison for the resisting and obstructing charge. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, March 19.


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