Sunday, November 27, 2022

Bike Rental Dispute Leads To Judicial Misconduct Charges

A dispute over rented bicycles has led to charges of judicial misconduct before the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission

Respondent attended a judicial conference on Mackinac Island on August 20, 2019.

Respondent rented bicycles from the Mackinac Island Bike Shop on Main Street for herself and a colleague.

Respondent Brue provided her credit card number to the staff of the bicycle rental shop before she was given bicycles for herself and the colleague.

When they returned their bicycles to the shop, respondent and her colleague explained to the bicycle shop staff that the colleague had a problem operating the bicycle.

Respondent did not want to pay full price for the rentals and asked a staff member for an accommodation. The staff member summoned his supervisor.

Respondent Brue spoke with the supervisor and again asked for an accommodation. The request was denied.

Respondent Brue told at least one of those two employees that she and the colleague were judges.

One of the employees summoned Ira Green, the proprietor of the bike shop.

Mr. Green and respondent spoke for approximately 20 minutes but were not able to resolve their disagreement over how much to pay.

During her discussion with Mr. Green respondent Brue said words to the following effect:
You’re going to call the police on two black judges. . . We’re trying to explain to you the situation with the bikes and so now you want to call the police officers on us.
****
I am absolutely a judge.

During her discussion with Mr. Green respondent reached over the cash register and forcibly attempted to take the bike rental paper out of Mr. Green’s hand, ripping the paper.

Respondent Brue then said to Mr. Green words to the effect:
You assaulted me. Did you just assault me? You took my receipt and tore it up. I want the police. Now we need the police. I am going to call them. Because you just assaulted an elected official who is here. . . who came here by invitation for a conference. You assaulted me. I asked you for my receipt back. You snatched my receipt back from me. You snatched my receipt and threw it away and grabbed my hand and you hurt me. You touched my hand with force and violence. I am a female. I am a judge. I am here for a conference and you --- . . . --- I am an African America female. That was racist, and it was disrespectful and it was violent.

No, you settle down. You touched me. I am afraid, I’m shaken. I’m in fear of my safety. --- With violence.” Do you know what is now going to happen to you, a Caucasian man that’s found guilty of striking an African American female judge?

The police responded and, allegedly, the judge made false statements

When Officer Hardy returned from watching the video of the incident, he told respondent Brue words to the effect of “it looks like you did the assault.” He demonstrated multiple times what he saw respondent Brue do that was captured on the video.

Then

Respondent Brue eventually admitted to Officer Hardy that Mr. Green had not assaulted her, and that she had reached across the counter and attempted to take the paper from Mr. Green.

Trooper Bergsma negotiated a settlement whereby respondent Brue and her colleague did not pay for their bicycle rentals, Mr. Green provided respondent Brue a receipt showing that she did not owe any money, and respondent Brue and Mr. Green would not seek to prosecute the other.

The judge also is alleged to have made false statements to the Commission concerning the incident.

Editor's note: The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission web site is first rate. Highly informative with easy access to case information. (Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2022/11/a-dispute-over-a-rented-bicycle-has-led-to-charges-of-judicial-misconduct-before-the-michigan-judicial-tenure-commission-res.html

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