Highland Park officials seized a church whose owners repurposed it to grow medical marijuana, failed to report the forfeiture for months, then said they'd relinquish the building if the owners bought the city two police cars.
A lawyer for the couple at the center of the case, Justyna and Matt Kozbial, calls it "policing for profit" in a WXYZ report.
Mayor Hubert Yopp and Police Chief Kevin Coney seized the church on Christmas Eve 2020 during what police records say was a fire inspection. They say the couple was running an illegal grow, while the couple says they were legally growing under the state's medical marijuana law. The Kozbials still haven't been charged with a crime, WXYZ reports.
The pair say the building has incurred six figures in damage since the city seized it. Vandals stole their equipment and flooded their basement.
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office says Highland Park didn't report the seizure for eight months and is negotiating with the Kozbials on its own.