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Wolverine Boot Camp

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
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To enroll these prisoners into the Wolverine Campus project, wherever it ends up, according to the boot camp's proposal, the prisoner's defense attorney would need to apply to the county prosecutor for a diversionary sentence. The county prosecutor would then recommend a diversion sentence at the boot camp to the circuit court judge, who has the discretion to place the prisoner there, pursuant to sentencing guidelines. Then, hypothetically, the Wolverine Campus boot camp would accept the prisoner for enrollment.

Until a few weeks ago, Kinney was telling Oakland County officials, local officials, retired judges, proposed investors, the Michigan Department of Corrections and others that he intended to purchase and place the boot camp facility at 2000 Centerpoint Parkway in Pontiac, a vacant industrial property which was at one time part of the larger Pontiac Central Manufacturing and Assembly Plant Campus. The property includes a 1.2 million square foot former engineering building and a paved parking lot.

But the Centerpoint campus posed significant issues to others. Adjacent property owners, most notably Linden Nelson, chairman and CEO of Michigan Motion Picture Studios, was not delighted at the prospect of having a boot camp with felons, short-term or otherwise, at a large property next door to his movie studio, especially with large scale productions such as "Batman Vs. Superman", starring Ben Affleck, among others, filming at Michigan Motion Picture Studios.

Also located at or near the Centerpoint campus is a school, Kids Now Childhood Development Center, Hewlett Packard and Ultimate Soccer Arenas.

Township officials in Bloomfield Township, Auburn Hills and Waterford weren't thrilled, either. Pontiac, especially the Centerpoint campus, is at the edge of Bloomfield Township's border. "I'm pretty emphatic that Bloomfield Township residents would oppose that facility being there," said Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie.

Savoie recounts a luncheon he was at of about 15 to 20 invited guests in early May where the featured guest was Kinney. Also at the meeting were several retired judges, including Barry Grant and Fred Messner, and Bloomfield Township Police Chief Geoff Gaudard. Kinney described to the group his proposed project, and announced that "he has a buy in from (Oakland County Sheriff Mike) Bouchard's office. I knew that to not be true. I turned to Gaudard, and he indicated as well that Bouchard is not in favor of this."

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