A petition for interim suspension without pay has been filed against 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan.

The petition was filed with the Michigan Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon by Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission Deputy Executive Director Glenn J. Page. It requests that the court order the immediate interim suspension of Brennan, without pay, for the proper administration of justice and to maintain the public perception of fairness in the courts. Brennan technically remains on the bench but her caseload has been re-assigned. Page is requesting the court enter an order suspending Brennan until final adjudication of the formal complaint and place her salary in escrow during that time.

The petition was filed due to a variety of circumstances, noting a significant portion came to light either just before or during a hearing on a formal complaint filed against Brennan by the JTC. Page says the “petition rests on just a fraction of the misconduct established at the formal hearing, but includes proof of misconduct sufficiently serious to warrant immediate action by this Court.” The JTC investigation into allegations of judicial misconduct began in February 2017 and continued for the next seventeen months. The petition asserts that the investigation disclosed evidence that supported several of the allegations and also demonstrated other improper conduct, which led to an amended complaint.

Brennan is also facing separate felony charges filed by the Michigan Attorney General's Office for allegedly delaying the execution of a recusal order after she was assigned as the judge in her own divorce, and using the delay to dispose of evidence relevant to the divorce that was subject to an ex parte motion to preserve evidence prior to her recusal. Brennan is scheduled to appear for a probable cause conference on those charges today in 67th District Court.

JTC Executive Director Lynn Helland tells WHMI that Brennan will get two weeks to respond to the petition, unless the court gives her more time. After that, the Michigan Supreme Court takes it under consideration and decides whether or not it wants to grant the petition. (JM/JK)