Family court judge reassigned amid abuse cover-up claims
Wayne County family court Judge Tracy Green has been reassigned amid allegations that she covered up evidence that her grandson was being beaten by his father.
The 11-year-old boy has accused his father, 31-year-old Gary Davis-Headd, of striking him. Headd is the judge's son.
Chief Wayne County Judge Timothy Kenny said Wednesday he has taken Green off the abuse and neglect docket until cases of parental rights termination and criminal child abuse involving Davis-Headd are resolved.
"There has been testimony from her grandson and Judge Green that contradict each other," Kenny said.
Green will hear only juvenile delinquency cases, while her abuse and neglect cases will be heard by other judges.
Kenny added that "given the allegations," it is best to assign the abuse and neglect cases to other judges in order to give members of the public "assurance" of unbiased proceedings.
"If there is an abuse and neglect case, there would be a side issue because her son is going through the same thing right now," Kenny said. "We want people coming to the courthouse with the expectation they will get a fair and impartial hearing."
Kenny said he met with Green last week and that she agreed with the docket change.
As a family court judge, Green decides parental custody matters that include whether children should be removed or reunited with parents in case where there have been allegations of child abuse.
In March, Green's 11-year-old grandson testified during a hearing to terminate Davis-Headd's parental rights to him and four other younger siblings that the judge covered bruises on his face with makeup the night before he went to school.
Green testified she never saw bruises on her grandson and denied she used makeup to cover them up. The jurist did testify that she saw a handprint on her grandson's face from her son and acknowledged knowing that her son used a belt to discipline his two oldest sons.
The boy and his other siblings are living with their biological mothers.
The jury in the case decided there were enough evidence to allow the court to have jurisdiction over the children and to begin the process of terminating the father's parental rights.
The parental termination case against Davis-Headd is pending and more hearings are scheduled in June in front of visiting Judge Bryan Levy after another judge recused himself.
Davis-Headd was charged in November with two felony counts of second-degree child abuse and two counts of third-degree child abuse. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. His trial is scheduled for June.
Elected last November, Green was an attorney for more than 20 years before she was elected to the family division of the Wayne County Circuit Court. Green is known for her work as an advocate for reuniting parents with their children in the foster care system.
Green told The News in a statement last week that while she cannot comment on pending court cases, she has "done nothing wrong."
Green added: "I am not on trial here. I stand by my previous testimony, and I pray my reputation for integrity and decency will speak for me."
Christine MacDonald contributed.