Michigan Justice Announces Retirement After Accusation of 'Blatant and Brazen' Misconduct

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway filed retirement papers last month, but she didn’t announce her plans until Monday when the state Judicial Tenure Commission accused her of “blatant and brazen” misconduct.

The commission had sought an immediate suspension for Hathaway based on allegations she hid assets to facilitate a short sale of a home she owned in a Detroit suburb, report the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press and the Associated Press. Hathaway will retire on Jan. 21, the deadline for responding to the ethics complaint, according to the Detroit News.

Hathaway’s lawyer, Brian Einhorn, told the Free Press and AP that the commission had been informed of his client’s retirement plans, and the ethics charges appeared to be an attempt to “pander to the press.” Einhorn believes the retirement will end the tenure commission’s case.

A federal criminal investigation continues, according to the Free Press. The federal government has filed a civil complaint seeking forfeiture of Hathaway’s Florida home based on allegations she and her husband briefly transferred the property to a family member to facilitate the Michigan short sale.

Hathaway earns nearly $165,000 a year as a Supreme Court justice. Because of her prior service as a circuit court judge, she is vested in the judicial retirement system, the Free Press says. The state’s Republican governor will appoint a replacement, likely restoring a 5-2 GOP majority on the court.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.