Feds accuse Michigan Supreme Court justice of fraud
Wednesday, November 21st, 12:38 p.m.
We began a new post on this story here. Here's an update from the Associated Press:
The lawyer for a Michigan Supreme Court justice accused of fraud says she'll file a claim to keep a Florida home out of the hands of the government. Steve Fishman offered brief comments Wednesday, two days after prosecutors sued to take control of a house owned by Justice Diane Hathaway and husband Michael Kingsley. The government says they temporarily transferred the home to a relative while trying to negotiate a short sale on a Michigan property. After the sale went through, and mortgage debt was erased, the Florida home went back to Hathaway and Kingsley. The government says ING Bank was cheated. Fishman declined to respond to the fraud allegation but says Hathaway and Kingsley will fight to keep the property in Windermere, Fla. No criminal charges have been filed.
Tuesday, November 20th 6:16 p.m.
The U.S. Attorney has filed a civil complaint against Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway and her husband, accusing them of fraud in a series of real estate transactions that allowed them to broker a short sale. The complaint seeks the forfeiture of the couple's of the couple’s $750,000 Florida home.
MPRN's Rick Pluta spoke with Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty about his report that Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway has cleaned out of her office. Hathaway has denied the report.
"Clearly the easiest way to settle the question once and for all would be to look in the office.... I was told I would have to get permission from Justice Hathaway.... I called her office and was told simply 'your questions have been answered,'" said Pluta.
You can listen to Pluta's conversation with Canty below.
This message was sent by Marcia M. McBrien, Public Information Officer at the Michigan Supreme Court:
Please be advised that Justice Hathaway has sent the other justices and Court staff an e-mail stating that the rumors that she is going to resign are NOT true.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway and her attorney say it's not true that she is about to resign, or that she has cleared out her Lansing office.
"She is not resigning. Period," says criminal attorney Steve Fishman, who represents Hathaway as she is investigated over real estate transactions. "Rumors of her resignation are greatly exaggerated."
Hathaway also sent an e-mail to Michigan Supreme Court employees saying she is not resigning.
Fishman and a woman identifying herself as Hathaway's senior law clerk says a junior law clerk moved out of Hathaway's office at the Michigan Hall of Justice last week.
A source inside the state Hall of Justice confirms that Justice Diane Hathaway has cleaned out her Lansing office and the locker where she keeps her robe at the Michigan Supreme Court.
Hathaway is reportedly under investigation by the FBI over real estates transactions. She has not communicated officially with the state Supreme Court whether she intends to resign.
*Clarification - We updated our headline to reflect the new information we've learned from the court.