Warrant Authorized For 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan
December 13, 2018
A felony warrant has been authorized for 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan.
The outcome of a Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission hearing in regards to various misconduct charges is pending. However, Brennan has been the subject of a separate criminal investigation by Michigan State Police. Today, a three count felony warrant was issued for Brennan. She is charged with perjury, tampering with evidence and common law offenses. The charging affidavit is attached. The investigation began after deposition testimony in Brennan’s 2017 divorce proceedings, which revealed she allegedly deleted evidence from her cell phone and lied during depositions. The perjury count in the complaint alleges Brennan testified in a false and misleading manner about a marital asset, her cell phone. The tampering with evidence count alleges the judge knowingly and intentionally removed, altered, concealed, destroyed or otherwise tampered with evidence to be offered in an official proceeding. The third count is related to common law offenses. It alleges Brennan acted corruptly as a judge by delaying the execution of a recusal order after she was assigned as the judge in her own divorce case, and then used the delay to dispose of evidence relevant to the divorce when that evidence was subject to a protective order filed prior to her recusal.
Meanwhile Judge William Giovan who presided over the JTC hearing will make a recommendation to the JTC, which will then make a recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court as to whether discipline against Brennan is warranted. The initial complaint filed by the Commission stems from Brennan’s 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. Brennan and Furlong admit to an affair but claim it began after the trial. Testimony and documents from Brennan’s divorce then indicated the relationship began long before Kowalski’s trial. Brennan has had her local caseload removed and re-assigned, but technically remains on the bench. (JM)