Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan facing felony charges, arraigned

Accused of affair with detective in charge of murder investigation

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Kayla Clarke

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. - Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan could serve time behind bars for alleged misconduct in office.

Brennan is accused of using staff to perform personal services and failing to disclose a relationship with a police officer during a murder case.

READ: Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan to be arraigned on charges

The murder case involved a man named Jerome Kowalski, who is serving a life sentence. Brennan presided over that trial and is the judge who sent Kowalski to prison for life.

Brennan walked into the same arraignment court Tuesday that Kowalski did in 2013. She is accused of having an affair with the state police detective in charge of the Kowalski murder investigation.

"This is just terrible," state Sen. Joe Hune said. "You can't even come up with something like this. I mean, this is unbelievable, beyond a soap opera. It's beyond a Tom Clancy novel. This is a travesty for our courts and our citizens in Livingston County."

After the Judicial Tenure Commission looked into that case, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged Brennan with three felonies.

She's been charged with perjury for alleged false sworn testimony about her cellphone and tampering with evidence.

She's also facing a charge for not immediately stepping aside after she was assigned to preside over her own divorce case.

"I'm waiting for the prosecutor of this county to come forward and grant my father a new trial," Kowalski's son Jared said. "It's time because it's clear he was denied his rights, his constitutional right of a fair trial."

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