Carmack asks judge to rule in his favor, award him $1M in lawsuit

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A controversial businessman is requesting that a federal judge rule in his favor and award him $1 million in his civil lawsuit against Detroit City Council Gabe Leland.

The request comes in a motion that auto shop owner Robert Carmack filed Sunday in federal court asking for a summary judgment. He first filed the lawsuit in March, claiming the city retaliated against him in a land dispute. He has since moved to remove the city, Mayor Mike Duggan and others from the lawsuit, leaving only Leland. 

Robert Carmack

Carmack is the central figure in the bribery indictment against Leland. Carmack said he wore a recording device in talks with the councilman. Leland is accused of agreeing to accept $15,000 and free car repairs from Carmack.

Carmack wants U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman to rule that Leland extorted him after Carmack said he delivered $7,500 cash in an envelope to a Leland campaign worker in late summer 2017, according to the lawsuit.

"Plaintiff respectfully requests this honorable court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's remaining state-law claims against defendant Leland and grant plaintiff's motion for summary judgment," Carmack asks in the filing, filed by his attorney, Andrew Paterson.

Leland, in invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a June deposition in Carmack’s complaint, "cannot  present a defense or offer any evidence in opposition to" the motion for summary judgment, the filing asserts. 

The motion is the latest involving Carmack's lawsuit.

Earlier this month, Carmack moved to dismiss the federal lawsuit. . A week before, Leitman said he had “very serious concerns” over how the lawsuit was being prosecuted.

“This is just the latest in a long line of ridiculous pleadings filed in this case,” said Leland’s attorney, Steve Fishman.

It is unclear why Carmack is asking for $1 million.

Carmack referred questions to his attorney. 

“You have to ask for something,” Paterson said. “That’s what Mr. Carmack thinks he should ask for. I don’t know where it will end up. Sometimes, it’s more, and sometimes less.”

Leland did not return a call seeking comment.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN