Legal Ethics

Checks Show Suspended Judge Spent Court Money on Payments to Employees, Sister's $100 Pound Cake

A suspended Michigan judge wearily spent hours on the witness stand today during a legal ethics trial, answering questions about hundreds of checks showing questionable expenditures ranging from “independent contractor” payments to court workers to high school cheerleader uniforms and a $100 purchase of pound cake from the jurist’s sister to serve at a Law Day event.

At one point, 22nd District Judge Sylvia James suggested that the checks showing the purchases made for her Inkster court could be introduced en masse. But an examiner for the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission continued to go over the payments with James one by one, reports the Detroit News.

Her own lawyer is expected to ask follow-up questions tomorrow.

Earlier coverage: “Ethics Trial Looms for Suspended Judge re Claimed $130K Shortfall, ‘Excessively Long Lunches’”

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