Livingston Co. judge to stand trial for perjury, tampering with evidence, misconduct

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan will be tried on multiple felony charges.

Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan will face trial on charges of perjury, tampering with evidence and misconduct in office.

Genesee County District Judge David Guinn bound over Brennan on the charges Wednesday after a multi-day preliminary examination in which several witnesses testified, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office. The charges carry up to 15 years in prison.

Former Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office authorized the charges against Brennan last year, alleging Brennan deleted information from her iPhone after her husband filed for divorce in December 2016 and then lied about it during depositions in January and February 2017.

The Michigan Supreme Court is weighing whether Brennan should be removed from the bench after the Judicial Tenure Commission found she committed at least seven instances of misconduct that merited her removal and would prevent her from resuming office should she run for and win re-election next year.

Dennis Kolenda, Brennan’s lawyer, could not be reached for comment immediately on Guinn’s decision, but he said last week the Judicial Tenure Commission had an “unrequited desire” to find something wrong with his client.

Earlier this year, after a lengthy investigation and hearing process, the commission said Brennan should be removed from the bench and pay roughly $35,570 in costs and expenses for making misleading statements to the commission.

Judicial Tenure Commission investigators had determined Brennan failed to disclose her relationships with a police officer involved in a homicide case over which she presided and with an attorney who appeared before her.

Brennan also is accused of tampering with evidence in her divorce case, lying under oath, persistently abusing attorneys, witnesses and staff, and directing staff members to perform personal tasks for her during work hours.

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