Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 22, 2014

Lawyer board clears former Meijer attorney

TRAVERSE CITY -- Michigan's Attorney Discipline Board cleared a lawyer accused of lying under oath about Meijer Inc.'s illegal political activities in Acme Township.

A judicial panel issued the ruling that exonerated Grand Rapids attorney Timothy Stoepker on Wednesday.

“The hearing panel, having reviewed the exhibits and testimony, found no facts to support the allegations that Mr. Stoepker was untruthful or otherwise acted improperly,” the panel said in the ruling.

The complaint against Stoepker stemmed from his representation of Meijer in the corporation’s pursuit of a store off M-72 in Acme Township. Amid details that became public during a lawsuit, Meijer officials admitted they secretly spent more than $100,000 on lawyers and a public relations firm to fight a 2005 township referendum, and also to support a 2007 effort to recall the township board because of some board members’ store opposition.

The Attorney Grievance Commission filed a complaint against Stoepker alleging he falsely testified under oath during a lawsuit deposition about his alleged role in Meijer’s illegal campaign activities.  

Robert Edick, a state deputy grievance administrator who prosecuted the case against Stoepker, said he will seek clarification from the panel on some aspects of the ruling before making a decision on whether to appeal.

Stoepker and his attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

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