Former Judge Calls MSP Investigation Into Question
July 5, 2018
A local judge is calling into question the efforts of Michigan State Police following the announcement Tuesday that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will review their investigation into 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan.
Retired Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Burress issued a statement Wednesday taking issue with the Michigan State Police’s handling of the Judge Brennan investigation. Burress says, “The truth is that they have been involved for about 18 months. They executed a search warrant on the courtroom and residence of Judge Brennan over a year ago and have kept the contents and results of that search secret.” He added that a law enforcement agency normally requests an outside agency to investigate one of their own, but that wasn’t done in this case. He says because of that, “we have to question why it is taking so long” and that, “It is time they pulled up the anchor and issued their report.”
Burress became involved in the Brennan case last month when he requested a citizen’s grand jury investigate allegations of impropriety on her part. Brennan is the subject of a complaint filed by the Judicial Tenure Commission involving her relationship with former Michigan State Police Detective Sean Furlong. He served as the chief prosecution witness during the 2013 double murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, which Brennan presided over and resulted in Kowalski’s conviction and life sentence. While Brennan and Furlong admit an affair, they claim it began after the trial. However, testimony and documents from Brennan’s 2017 divorce seemingly dispute that and indicate it began long before the trial.
In Schuette’s announcement on Tuesday, he said his office’s Criminal Division will review the evidence to determine if there were criminal wrongdoings by the judge and any potential charges. Judge Burress says that while, “We don’t know if Mr. Kowalski is guilty or innocent…it seems clear that he was not tried before an impartial tribunal as required by law. It is time to do the right thing.” (JK)