Livingston County judge accused of tampering with evidence, affair with MSP trooper arraigned

Theresa Brennan arraigned on misconduct charges in Howell


HOWELL, Mich. – Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan went before another judge Tuesday, charged with three felonies.

The attorney general used evidence gathered in the state investigation into her conduct on the bench as the basis for the charges. The case is heading for a trial or a plea bargain.

Brennan has long faced complaints about her temperament on the bench, but this case takes the concerns to a new level.

Brennan, 61, is a judge with the 53rd District Court. She's facing charges on accusations of giving false testimony regarding her cellphone, tampering with evidence and a common law offense of not stepping down as judge when she was assigned to preside over her own divorce.

The charges stem from her weekslong judicial tenure hearing, when the state investigated her temperament and conduct on the bench.

Tuesday's hearing lasted only 10 minutes and was unusual in that Brennan stood mute before an arraigning and specially appointed judge who himself appeared in the Howell courtroom by way of video from Flint.

After the hearing ended, state Sen. Joe Hune weighed in on the case.

"You don't want to say it's a victory, but you think it's a victory for justice," Hune said. "This judge has wreaked havoc on our community for the last decade, decade and a half, and her entire tenure in office has been nothing but ruining people's lives."

Hune recently held a public forum for Livingston County residents to complain about Brennan's demeanor on the bench. People lined up to express their anger.

"She needs to resign," Hune said. "I mean, every day that goes by, the citizens are paying $600 per day for her to stay in office and not do anything and having felony charges against her. That is obscene. She needs to resign, and ultimately, justice will prevail."

The Judicial Tenure Commission investigation stems from a murder case in which Brennan is suspected of having an affair with the Michigan State Police trooper who led the murder investigation. The man charged was found guilty and wants a new trial.

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