In a joint statement, state Reps. Hank Vaupel (R-Fowlerville) and Lana Theis (R-Brighton) called for the resignation of Livingston County 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan to resign. Their statement follows a letter from state Sen. Joe Hune (R-Fowlerville) on June 8, calling for Brennan to resign.
“A resignation is necessary to maintain confidence in the judicial system in Livingston County,” said Vaupel. “Ongoing issues have long put in doubt Judge Brennan’s ability to serve in this capacity and continue to uphold the public’s trust. I am one of those citizens with a high level of doubt, and I sincerely hope the judge does the right thing and steps down.”
Brennan is under investigation through the Judicial Tenure Commission in the wake of an affair with a Michigan State Police detective assigned to a lead position for a 2013 murder case eventually heard in Brennan’s courtroom.
Brennan had maintained the affair with 1st Lt. Sean Furlong took place after the murder trial. Phone records later showed the two spoke on the phone nearly 40 times between the start of the trial and sentencing. As a result, missteps levied against Brennan include misrepresenting the details of that conflict while being questioned, violating professional standards becoming of a judge, egregious misconduct from the bench and misappropriating public resources for personal gain.
“This was a gross violation of judicial ethics,” said Theis. “Judge Brennan should have already stepped down of her own volition, but to have her on the bench over a long, lingering process waiting for federal lawsuits and calls for a grand jury investigation is harmful to the residents who have to deal with her courtroom.
“My office consistently receives calls from residents voicing their displeasure with Judge Brennan and asking what, if anything, can be done to stop her erratic and irresponsible behavior. This is not what the people of Livingston County deserve from their elected judges and the justice system.”
If the Judicial Tenure Commission’s investigation reveals wrongdoing by Brennan, a recommendation for sanctions will be made to the Michigan Supreme Court. The court then would decide on a penalty, which could include censure, suspension or removal from office.