Michael Salman Wants Work Release; Attorney Manages to Not Use Religion as the Argument
See also: Michael Salman wants to build a church in his backyard
See also: Michael Salman is not in jail for having Bible studies in his home
See also: Michael Salman claims his "right to hold Bible studies in jail" was violated
For quite possibly the first time in recent history, legal paperwork has been filed on behalf of ex-gang member/Pastor Michael Salman that doesn't claim Salman's religious rights are being violated.
The Rutherford Institute announced that one of its affiliate attorneys, Jack Wilenchik, has filed a motion on Salman's behalf to be able to leave Tent City several days a week to work at his restaurant.
Salman, a convicted felon, is currently serving a 60-day jail sentence after being found guilty of 67 misdemeanors related to an illegal building he built in his backyard, and his unwillingness to comply with the City of Phoenix's zoning rules.
It's been almost two years since Salman was convicted of those misdemeanors, and since then, he's been telling anyone who will listen that he's being persecuted for his religious beliefs. Many people have bought it.
He's still been claiming religious persecution as recently as last week, when his attorneys claimed his "right to hold Bible studies in jail" was being violated. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office debunked that pretty quickly.
Since not a single one of Salman's attempts at claiming religious persecution in court has ever worked, he's finally trying something else -- Salman says he's got a business to run.
"He wishes to be released for the maximum permitted hours and days each week to perform his job duties at his family -owned and -operated restaurant, where his duties consist of managing the business, cooking, and serving as a cashier or waiter as needed," Salman's attorney writes in the motion. "Defendant Salman is the sole manager of the business, which relies on him completely for its operation. Suzanne Salman is not able to take his place in this regard, as she is fully occupied in caring for their small children."
The restaurant, Mighty Mikes Burgers, has two locations -- and it appears Salman may not play by the rules when it comes to that, either.
According to county records, inspectors dropped by the location on Bethany Home in March, and found enough violations to qualify for a "D" rating in the voluntary grading system, but Salman's restaurants don't participate in that.
Inspectors also dropped by a couple weeks ago, and found that they hadn't corrected a few things. The comments section from an inspection of the other location says only one of the five employees has a food service worker card.
On top of that, the Mighty Mikes corporation was dissolved in March since no one filed the annual report.
Salman and his wife -- who's listed as the head of the corporation -- can apply for reinstatement for several more years.
Well, he does have work to do.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.