Judge wants agency to investigate Meijer lawyer

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A judge believes a lawyer committed perjury when he denied knowing anything about the role of Meijer Inc. in a 2007 recall election of township officials in northern Michigan's Grand Traverse County.

Judge Philip Rodgers said he has referred the matter involving Timothy Stoepker to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, a watchdog agency.

"I believe it occurred, and I have an ethical responsibility to report it," Rodgers told the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Stoepker, an attorney at the firm Dickinson Wright in Grand Rapids, represented Meijer during a dispute over a new store in Acme Township. Voters rejected the store in 2005, and township officials were targeted for recall in 2007.

Meijer, a major Midwestern retailer, later acknowledged illegally financing the recall effort and subsequently paid a $190,000 fine.

During a deposition in a civil lawsuit by a township official, Stoepker was asked what he knew about Meijer's role. "I have no knowledge of that at all," he replied.

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