A judge has denied motions made by a former Livingston County judge to dismiss the felony charges against her.
In an order filed Friday, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Paul Cusick denied the motions that were made last month on behalf of former 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. She is set to stand trial January 13th on charges of perjury, misconduct in office, and destroying evidence in relation to her 2016 divorce case.
The charges were filed last December by the Michigan Attorney General’s office. Brennan’s attorneys argued that Flint District Judge David Guinn improperly bound her over for trial at a hearing in June despite not having enough evidence to do so. One of the issues was whether or not Brennan committed perjury when she testified about her cell phone in the divorce case. An order had been issued preserving the phone and its contents for the case. Her attorneys argued that even though she deleted apps off her phone, the factory-installed apps remained. Judge Cusick disagreed and said her actions clearly fell within the statutes against tampering with evidence and that she perjured herself in her testimony regarding her actions.
The other issue was whether Brennan committed misconduct in office when she waited six days to disqualify herself from her own divorce case. Her attorney argued that there was no specific timeline for a judge to make a disqualification, but again the judge disagreed, stating that Brennan’s delay indicated her actions were meant “with corrupt intent and a wrongful way” as she used the extra time to try and delete evidence off of her phone.
The Michigan Supreme Court in June issued a unanimous opinion ordering Brennan be removed from the bench, thus suspending her from holding judicial office for six years. (JK)