A motion has been filed to remove Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt from the re-trial of Jerome Kowalski.

Attorney Mark Gatesman is representing the 72-year-old Kowalski as he seeks a new trial in the murder of his brother and sister-in-law in their Oceola Township home in 2008. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2013, but had the conviction vacated after misconduct came to light involving a relationship between Judge Theresa Brennan, who presided over the case, and former State Police Detective Sean Furlong, who was the lead witness for the prosecution.

Gatesman filed the motion with Genesee County Judge Matthew Stewart to petition Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for a special prosecutor. Gatesman maintains that Vailliencourt knew of the affair but still proceeded with the trial. Vailliencourt vehemently denies that, telling WHMI, “There is no basis or justification for the defendant’s efforts. We’ll address this matter in court and we look forward to having this case proceed to trial.”

Vailliencourt previously said his office did everything at the time that could have been done after they received a letter from local attorney Tom Kizer days before the trial was set to start in which he said that he had received information Brennan and Furlong were engaged in a relationship. Vailliencourt said he immediately notified defense counsel and the matter was promptly addressed in court, adding that, “Judge Brennan specifically denied any impropriety and there was no evidence to contradict that or any reason to delay the trial. Judge Brennan’s decision not to disqualify herself was affirmed by the Chief Judge.” (JK)