Theresa Brennan | Michigan Radio

Theresa Brennan

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Former Livingston County District Judge Theresa Brennan has been sentenced to six months in jail, after pleading guilty to perjury.  

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court has removed Livingston County District Court Judge Theresa Brennan from the bench. The court found Brennan is liable for misconduct that reflected poorly on the judicial system.

This drama of law and romance has played out for a little more than a year now, since the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission filed a complaint against Brennan. It says the judge presided over a murder case that was investigated by a detective with whom she’d had a relationship. The complaint also says she was improperly involved with her own divorce case.

Michigan's Hall of Justice.
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The future of a judge accused of misconduct is now waiting on a decision from the Michigan Supreme Court. The case includes allegations of an improper romance with a police detective, and lying to protect her career.

Livingston County

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission says a judge in Livingston County should lose her job due to serious misconduct on the bench. The commission sent its recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court following an investigation into the conduct of 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. 

John Nevin is the communications director for the state Supreme Court. He says Brennan will have a chance to respond before justices decide.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Judicial Tenure Commission held a hearing Monday in a case seeking to remove Livingston County District Court Judge Theresa Brennan from office.

Among Brennan's alleged misconduct: violating campaign finance laws; verbally abusing staff, attorneys, and litigants; having a secret affair with the police officer in a murder trial; destroying evidence in her own divorce case; and lying to hide the misconduct.

Brennan's attorney, Dennis Kolenda, told commissioners that the allegations were either unproven, or blown out of proportion. 

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

53rd District Court judge Theresa Brennan was arraigned Tuesday on three felony counts: tampering with evidence, perjury, and corruption in office.

The hearing was brief.  Appearing by video conference, Judge David Guinn read Brennan her rights and asked if she understood them. She said she did.

Livingston County

The Michigan attorney general's office has issued three felony counts against Livingston County district court Judge Theresa Brennan.  

The charges stem from Brennan's 2016 divorce case.

At the 53rd District Court, Judge Theresa Brennan was assigned all divorce cases that didn't involve children. So, in 2016 she was assigned her own divorce case. 

Investigators say that rather than immediately recusing herself, she waited, and found out there was a court order for her to preserve evidence on her iPhone. She deleted the evidence, then recused herself, and later lied under oath about what she'd done. 

Livingston County

A hearing on a complaint against Livingston County District Judge Theresa Brennan continues later this month. The proceeding could result in a recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court that she be removed from office.

Livingston County

The Judicial Tenure Commission has begun a hearing on a complaint against Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan.

Brennan is accused of hiding conflicts of interest in cases before her -- ordering court staff to do personal work for her -- and treating people in her courtroom with contempt.

Judge removed from cases over misconduct allegations

Jun 14, 2018
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Livingston County District Court Judge Theresa Brennan has been removed from cases until further notice. County Chief Judge Miriam Cavanaugh made the decision to reassign Brennan following the filing of a 66-page complaint against Brennan by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. 

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Troubles are mounting for a Livingston County judge accused of unethical behavior. 

Theresa Brennan is being investigated by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission for, among other things, allegedly hiding her affair with the lead investigator in a murder case over which she was presiding.  

A retired judge, Daniel Burress, who before his retirement was the chief judge of the Livingston County District Court, has requested a grand jury to review her behavior.

She is being sued by a court administrator for harassment and retaliation.