Constitutional Law

Prosecutor says judge secretly dismissed cases, seeks court OK for 10-year review

A prosecutor has asked for court permission to review a Michigan judge’s caseload for the past 10 years, contending that he secretly dismissed misdemeanor cases without an OK from her office.

In a 238-page complaint filed last week, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper says 52nd District Judge Brian W. MacKenzie “has been secretly setting aside valid convictions entered in plaintiff’s cases … taking pleas on misdemeanor cases and then subsequently setting the sentences for dates when no assistant prosecutor is present,” reports the Detroit Free Press.

An award-winning judge who has been on the bench since 1988, MacKenzie is accused by Cooper of routinely taking pleas and imposing sentence in misdemeanor cases without a prosecutor in the courtroom, reports the Detroit News

The complaint also says court records were “fabricated” to make it appear that a prosecutor had dismissed cases when that did not occur.

Both newspapers said MacKenzie is out of town and could not be reached for for comment.

In addition to seeking the review, Cooper wants the Oakland County Circuit Court to correct records and order MacKenzie’s court clerk not to report that prosecutors are present if they are not in court.

A hearing is scheduled on Monday.

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