Judge discipline panel hears arguments in Gorcyca issue

Mike Martindale

Detroit — After a public hearing Monday, members of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission will decide whether there is sufficient reason to request the state Supreme Court punish Judge Lisa Gorcyca for alleged misconduct in a hotly contested child custody case.

Attorneys against and for the Oakland Circuit Court judge offered up 90 minutes of argument to seven members of the commission, who will deliberate up to several weeks before either dismissing the charges or sending a request to the state’s highest court on what they think should be done, Glenn Page, executive director of the commission, said Monday.

“This could result to no action requested or up to censure with or without suspension,” said Page, who represented retired Wayne Circuit Judge Daniel Ryan, the Master in the case who found merit in misconduct allegations.

Page said there is no time frame for reaching a decision following the hearing at state offices at Cadillac Place in Detroit.

Page declined to discuss any facets of his argument or the case against Gorcyca. Her attorney, Thomas Cranmer, was unavailable for comment but has maintained Gorcyca neither acted inappropriately nor abused her discretion in how she handled the case, a high-profile, five-year legal battle between a Bloomfield Hills couple that some experts believed involved parental alienation.

The children’s father, Omar Tsimhoni, had been granted visitation privileges in the divorce but sought help from Gorcyca, complaining his ex-wife, Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni, had turned their two boys and their sister against him.

The three siblings repeatedly refused Gorcyca’s orders to talk or have lunch with their father. The children refused to look at him and communicated with one another by tapping their feet in what Gorcyca and a guardian ad-litem agreed reminded them of cult-like behavior, similar to the infamous Charles Manson case.

Frustrated by their actions, Gorcyca warned the children and their mother they could be found in contempt of court and ordered into custody. When that failed, Gorcyca had them placed in a section of Children’s Village juvenile facility normally reserved for abused children for two weeks. She later had them transferred to a summer camp.

The outcry over Gorcyca’s actions, fueled by social media chatter, made international news and heated up arguments over the rights of children involved in divorce proceedings.

If the tenure commission ultimately decides some punishment is warranted, Gorcyca would have the opportunity to appeal directly to the state supreme court.

Gorcyca, who recused herself from the Tsimhoni case months ago, continues to sit on the bench and hear cases.


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