A Howell attorney feels various agencies are not doing their job when it comes to a high profile case of a Livingston County judge involved in an affair he alleges jeopardized a murder case.

Attorney Tom Kizer issued a letter (posted below) to the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office concerning allegations against 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan and why she remains on the bench ten months after what he called “criminal behavior and ethical breaches” by Brennan were revealed during her divorce proceedings. Kizer represented Brennan’s ex-husband in the divorce. During testimony in that case, Brennan was questioned about her relationship to Michigan State Police Detective Sean Furlong, who served as the chief witness in the 2013 double-murder trial of Jerome Kowalski. Both Brennan and Furlong admitted to having an affair, but maintain it began after the trial, which ended in Kowalski’s conviction and life prison sentence. However, testimony in the divorce case alleged it began years before and continued through the trial itself. Phone records indicate the two had extensive contact during the trial, which alone has been described as a violation of judicial ethics.

Kizer says they’ve had the facts and his guess is that it’s political in some ways or maybe the Attorney General is too busy running for public office. Whatever the reason, Kizer feels the agencies are not doing their job, and he tells WHMI he’s upset from a professional standpoint as an attorney but also as a member of the community that the agencies are sitting on their hands when there is a human being sitting in prison that may die there and might not belong there. He says Kowalski deserves a fair trial with a fair, unbiased judge - not one sleeping with the detective. Kizer added he doesn’t care about Brennan’s personal life but as it affects her duties, it’s "disgusting."

A representative from the Attorney General’s office told WHMI per department policy, they do not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation. The Judicial Tenure Commission responded the same. Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt has not received Kizer’s letter yet and does not comment on ongoing investigations but told WHMI as he’s previously stated, he was the first one to bring these matters to the attention of the Judicial Tenure Commission and he also requested an investigation by the Michigan State Police. Vailliencourt did say only the Michigan Supreme Court and the Judicial Tenure Commission have the authority to take action against a judge and he wishes that process was a more expeditious one.

Kizer maintains the public has a right to know that those charged with protecting the rights of individuals are doing so, so people know judges are acting within the code of judicial conduct, not violating the law and not getting away with things they shouldn’t. Kizer says judges have so much immunity and an awesome amount of power so when they abuse it, it’s reprehensible. (JM/JK)