Lawmaker Seeks To Oust 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan
August 17, 2018
A local lawmaker is taking steps to potentially impeach embattled 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan, who is accused of corruption in office and perjury.
State Representative Lana Theis says the investigation by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission began over 18 months ago but it wasn’t up until roughly two months ago that Brennan finally had her caseload removed and re-assigned to a visiting judge. She says Brennan is now getting paid to sit at home and do nothing while taxpayers are now paying a visiting judge to hear all of her cases. Theis feels there have been extended delays of justice and says she’s heard from numerous people wanting to know when action will be taken to hold Judge Brennan accountable.
Theis says there is another alternative should the JTC not act appropriately or timely in this case and the legislature has a constitutional authority to remove Brennan from office. Theis believes that authority exists for situations such as this, where justice in her opinion is not being served adequately through the JTC. She says rules require the JTC to be as expeditious as possible, which Theis feels is lacking for not only Brennan but others, and speed is not typically there when looking at a judge acting inappropriately.
The legislature will be back in session in September and in the meantime, Theis says she will be drafting a resolution with impeachment language to bring forward at that time. The JTC complaint stems from Brennan’s relationship with former Michigan State Police Detective Sean Furlong, who served as the chief prosecution witness during the 2013 double murder trial of Jerome Kowalski. Brennan presided over the trial that resulted in Kowalski’s conviction and life sentence. Brennan and Furlong maintain they had a friendship that morphed into an affair but claim it began after the trial. Testimony and documents from Brennan’s 2017 divorce indicate the relationship began long before Kowalski’s trial.
Brennan just filed her response yesterday to the amended complaint filed by the JTC and a hearing will commence October 1st. The case will be heard at the 16th District Court in Livonia, a decision made to ensure there is no conflict of interest. A Michigan State Police criminal investigation also remains active. (JM)