DETROIT – Judge Vonda Evans is one of the most recognizable and outspoken members of the Wayne County Circuit Court, but internal records leaked to Local 4 News show she has some issues with timeliness, absenteeism, case management and demeanor on the bench.
Evans had presided over some of the biggest cases in the county, such as the Bob Bashara and Melendez trials. She said she finds the timing of the leak very suspect.
As far as whether she works a full day and manages her courtroom as standards dictate, Evans said she has no apologies.
The mountain of documentation from inside the Wayne County Circuit Court is extensive, with records going back in some cases more than 11 years. But one of the biggest files claims Evans usually arrives at work around 10 a.m. and leaves well before the work day is done.
"What I want to know, Mara, is why don't they tell on the other judges that come in at 9 o'clock and leave at noon?" Evans asked Local 4's Mara MacDonald.
Evans said there's nothing wrong with her court hours because they're typical of all the judges in circuit court.
"Very rarely will you find a judge who is here from 8 to 5," Evans said.
Evans said she gets her work done and manages her docket, but three years of records place Evans at her best in the low-middle to bottom of the pile in the weekly court docket management numbers.
Judges have time standards to which they must adhere in order to move the cases along.
"There is no question in my mind Judge Evans knows how to manage criminal cases," Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Robert Colombo said. "The issue with Judge Evans, as it was and apparently is now, is whether Judge Evans is working a full day."