Embattled District Court Judge Theresa Brennan should have disqualified herself from presiding over a double-murder trial because of her romantic relationship with Sean Furlong, the lead investigator on the case. That’s the conclusion of retired Circuit Court Judge William Giovan, appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to hear the charges against Brennan before the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.
Brennan’s failure to disqualify herself is “perhaps the most serious charge proven,” Giovan wrote in his stinging 23-page report issued Dec. 20, 2018, which paints a brutal picture of Brennan beyond the Kowalski case.
“The scope of Judge Brennan’s willingness to give false testimony under oath is breathtaking,” the Giovan wrote. “She testified falsely in depositions, in sworn answers to (Judicial Tenure) Commission questions, and during the hearing as well.”
Giovan also found that Brennan failed to disqualify herself from hearing her own divorce case in a timely manner, and that she destroyed evidence in that case (which, he concludes, renders Brennan guilty of a felony). He also found that Brennan was abusive to her employees, as well as to people in her courtroom; and that she used court employees to do personal work for her.
Giovan’s report will be reviewed by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, which will make a recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court, which could remove Brennan from the bench.