Romulus judge charged with domestic violence, drunken driving 'stepping back' from duties
Romulus — A Wayne County judge is "stepping back from the bench and taking stock" of his life in the midst of domestic violence charges and a drunken driving case, his attorney announced Thursday.
Romulus Judge David Parrott, 59, was charged and arraigned via video Monday in 35th District Court on charges of domestic violent assault and battery in connection with an incident Saturday involving his 55-year-old girlfriend who lives with him in his Van Buren Township home.
In a separate case in Manistee County, Parrott was allegedly involved in a one-vehicle crash on Christmas Day 2018.
"We have arguments seeking to introduce important evidence of his innocence pending before the court of appeals," said his attorney, East Lansing lawyer Mike Nichols, about the drunken driving case pending in Manistee County.
Nichols made the statement Thursday in a tweet that was accompanied by a video.
"Judge Parrott is going through a crisis in his life with all of these allegations, as well as the fact that it is a very public forum," he said.
"Imagine yourself going through this under a very hot spotlight. ... He is going to take time and step away from the bench. He's also is going to undergo an evaluation to see what he may need in his life in terms of perhaps some treatment for various things."
In a Wednesday letter Parrott submitted to Chief 34th District Judge Brian Oakley of his plans to step back from the bench temporarily, the embattled judge wrote: "Regardless of the merits of both of these matters, the mere fact that the allegations were made, warrants a searching evaluation of my relationships, as well as my physical, emotional and mental state."
Parrott said he was "deeply disappointed" in himself "for being in the position of even responding to these embarrassing situations."
Parrott said while his time away from the court "may be indeterminate at this time," he hopes to be able to return to the bench within 45-60 days.
The 34th District Court will split Parrott's docket between the other two judges and the two magistrates at the court. When necessary, sitting judges in Wayne County will be asked to assist with the court's docket, said a spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court. There will be no additional costs incurred to the court when other sitting judges are asked to fill in.
Parrott will maintain his salary.
In the Manistee County case, Parrott faces a Feb. 25 hearing on a motion to revoke his bond for the drunken driving case, according to Manistee County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jon Hauswirth.
Parrott was charged on Jan. 22, 2019, with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a 93-day misdemeanor.
Hauswirth said Parrott was charged after a blood-alcohol test came back confirming that Parrott was operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
In the Saturday incident, police were dispatched about 7:10 p.m. to the home Parrott shares with his girlfriend.
When police arrived, the woman told officers the judge had assaulted her, causing injuries, including a bump on her head, a cut on her right hand and pain to her tailbone. After an investigation at the home by police, the judge was arrested.
Judge James Plakas gave Parrott a $2,500 personal bond on Monday and ordered him to stay away from alcohol and be monitored for alcohol consumption.
Parrott also was ordered to surrender his weapons to police, including a Glock pistol that he said he keeps at his courtroom office. The judge was ordered to stay away from his girlfriend.
A not-guilty plea was entered on Parrott's behalf. His attorney who represented him at the arraignment, Robert Coutts, said the judge is “anxious for his day in court, and he will be vindicated.”