Michigan Supreme Court Sets Date To Hear Arguments In Brennan Petition
April 19, 2019
The Michigan Supreme Court has scheduled dates to hear arguments about whether Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan should be removed from office.
The state’s highest court announced today it will hear oral arguments on a petition by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission June 19th at 9:30am. The Commission last week formally requested the state Supreme Court remove Brennan from the bench for misconduct. That conclusion was based on testimony and other evidence that emerged during a hearing last fall about Brennan’s conduct as a judge, centering on her failure to disclose a relationship with former State Police Detective Sean Furlong, who served as they chief prosecution in the 2013 murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, over which Brennan presided and resulted in a conviction and life sentence.
That conviction has since been vacated and Kowalski is in the process of getting a new trial following the revelation that Brenna and Furlong were engaged in an affair before, during and after the trial. That’s despite Brennan’s insistence they were just friends when questioned under oath about the nature of their relationship just days before the trial began.
The commission is also seeking the Supreme Court to assess costs, fees, and expenses in excess of $35,000 based on Brennan's "intentional misrepresentations and misleading statements made to the Commission." After hearing oral arguments, the Supreme Court can accept, modify or reject the commission's recommendations or send the case back for additional fact-finding.
Other allegations made by the Commission against Brennan include her failure to immediately recuse herself from her own divorce case, tampering with evidence in that case, lying under oath and failing to disclose her friendship with an attorney who represented clients in her courtroom. Brennan, who was previously suspended with pay by the high court, is also charged criminally with several felonies, including perjury and tampering with evidence.
A preliminary hearing on those charges is scheduled to continue April 25th in Livingston County. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison. (JK)