Judge: Duggan off-limits from being deposed by businessman

A local businessman is battling the city of Detroit tried to put Mayor Mike Duggan under oath. 

He says there's a great cover-up, but the mayor's lawyers - they say it's just a bunch of baloney.

"This is a joke, it has to be stopped, it's an abuse of process and it's an abuse of discovery," said city attorney James Noseda.

The city's three lawyers urged a judge to reject Robert Carmack's bid to have Duggan questioned under oath.

"The most important issue here is that they're seeking to take the mayor's deposition and there's absolutely no basis," Noseda said.

Carmack is the Detroit businessman who wore a wire for the FBI while city councilman Gabe Leland allegedly shook him down for $15,000.

In this case, Carmack is running his own investigation. He says the city is covering up accidents involving the mayor's city vehicle.

But Noseda says city officials released all the records they have after Carmack requested them under the Freedom of Information Act. Carmack and his lawyer are not convinced.

 "I do know that they didn't produce everything," said Drew Paterson, Carmack's attorney. "From the documents not produced, it's very apparent that procedures required by the city were not followed."

Noseda claimed that Carmack and his lawyer don't really care about car repair records.

"What's most troubling about this case, though, is that what we really have here is a subterfuge by the plaintiff's counsel Mr. Paterson," Noseda said. "He wants to take the deposition of the mayor to ask him to ask him ridiculous and embarrassing questions."

Judge Sheila Gibson didn't weigh in on that debate, but she agreed the mayor should not be bothered.  She also noted that Freedom of Information Requests do not come with the same investigative powers as lawsuits.

"This being a FOIA request only, the scope of what you can and cannot do is limited," said Judge Sheila Gibson.

Carmack and his lawyer plan to continue their quest. but for now, the mayor is off limits.