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March 25, 2019 11:57 pm

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MI Attorney General Rejects Sheridan's Anti-Observer Request For Investigation

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has declined a request by Saugatuck resident Stephen Sheridan to investigate and iniitate legal action on his claim that The Local Observer cannot legally accept paid government legal advertising.

Sheridan filed a 60-page complaint alleging The Local Observer does not meet state rules as a legitimate newspaper that can print and be paid for legal advertisements from governments and schools.

Sheridan also sought to have the Michigan Attorney General’s Office “investigate and take appropriate action” against the City of Saugatuck for printing its legal notices in The Local Observer.

In an August 23 letter to Sheridan - obtained by The Local Observer - from Christina M. Grossi, Division Chief, State Operations Division of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, she wrote, in part: “This office cannot be of assistance regarding your complaint.”

Sheridan only asked the state to investigate the City of Saugatuck, and not any other governments or schools that prints its legal notices in The Local Observer.

The Local Observer, as a thank you the communities it serves, years ago offered to print all governmental entities’ legal notices for only $1,000 per year, saving them and taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in legal advertising costs. Sheridan had sought to end that offering despite the benefit to the taxpaying public.

And despite his request to the state being rejected, Sheridan has now asked Saugatuck officials to investigate his claims.

Area government officials have already repeatedly rejected the same claim that Sheridan has made at least three times in the past by The Local Observer’s competitor The Commercial Record.

Observer Editor Mike Gallagher said he believes Sheridan’s actions are directly related to the fact the Observer has reported on the questionable and inappropriate actions of his son, Saugatuck Township Manager Aaron Sheridan, and the fact that Aaron Sheridan was publicly reprimanded by his own township board for those actions.

“Stephen Sheridan apparently doesn’t like our accurate, public reporting on issues involving his son and other issues he has taken exception to over the years when our newspaper covers them so the public can be kept informed.

“He has even filed a defamation lawsuit against the Observer which is now being litigated. We stand by our reporting despite Mr. Sheridan’s efforts to silence us and believe the truth is always the ultimate defense against those with vested interests,” said Gallagher.

“Also, the fact that Stephen Sheridan has only targeted the City of Saugatuck which has also been critical of some of Aaron Sheridan’s actions - and not the other governments and schools we do business with - I believe speaks volumes as to his motives as well.

“The Local Observer will continue to report the local community news accurately and fairly so the public can be kept informed of what government officials are doing and why despite any unfounded allegations made against us,” he added.

MI Attorney General Rejects Sheridan’s Anti-Observer Request For Investigation

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