Government, Human Resources, and Law

State Supreme Court removes judge from office

July 1, 2019
| By AP |
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BRIGHTON — A judge facing criminal charges and ethics violations has been removed from office by the Michigan Supreme Court.

The court's decision Friday against Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan was unanimous and came just nine days after justices heard arguments. The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission had recommended her removal.

Brennan was accused of many ethics violations in how she ran her office as well as for a relationship with a state police detective during a murder trial. Separately, she was ordered to trial on charges of perjury and destroying evidence in her divorce case.

"We adopt the commission's findings of fact because our review of the record reveals that they are amply supported," the Supreme Court said.

In a footnote, the court added: "We are not often confronted with the multifarious acts of misconduct that are present in this case."

Brennan's attorney, Dennis Kolenda, told the court that phone calls and text messages between her and a state police detective weren't proof of an improper relationship with a key investigator during a murder trial.

"Maybe there was a little, a little — I don't think there was — a little misconduct that ought to be dealt with less than a hanging," Kolenda said, adding that removing Brennan from the bench was "way out of proportion."

Brennan had been a judge since 2005. Her term would have ended at the end of 2020.

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