Thursday, August 4, 2022

Removal Recommended

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission has recommended the removal of a judge for misconduct involving her abused grandsons and the investigation of the abuse

The totality of the evidence shows that Respondent was aware that her grandsons were being abused by her son, she covered it up, and she lied about knowing about it. Within two days after the boys were finally rescued in late June 2018, Respondent told the CPS investigator, Ms. Apple, that Respondent had not realized that “it” (meaning the abuse) was “this bad.” (Tr. pp 1305-1306.) Respondent’s statement to Ms. Apple revealed that Respondent knew her son was abusing her grandsons. Respondent now denies this. (Tr. p 2034.) She claims that, subjectively, she was referring only to civilized punishments her son imposed – banishing the boys to their rooms or prohibiting them from using their iPads. (Tr. pp. 20752076.) However, Respondent admits she did not say anything like that to Ms. Apple, (id. p. 2034/16-20), nor does she explain why she would regard such non-physical discipline as so “bad” in comparison to everything else she knew about. Again, her after-the-fact explanation is a thinly veiled attempt to escape a finding of misconduct in this proceeding.

Proposed sanction

The preponderance of evidence establishes that Respondent committed misconduct as alleged under Counts I and II of the Formal Complaint, as amended. That misconduct included multiple knowingly false statements under oath while she was a judge. The misconduct occurred before Respondent became a judge and continued after she became a judge. Brown observed that “[t]he most fundamental premise of the rule of law is that equivalent misconduct should be treated equivalently.” 461 Mich at 1292.

The precedent of the Michigan Supreme Court discussed above establishes that judges who lie under oath seeking to manipulate legal proceedings in their self-interested favor, which is exactly what Respondent did, must be removed.

(Mike frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink


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