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Former Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan turns herself in for jail sentence

Brennan sentenced for perjury

Theresa Brennan's booking photo Jan. 24, 2020 at the Livingston County Jail.
Theresa Brennan's booking photo Jan. 24, 2020 at the Livingston County Jail. (WDIV)

HOWELL, Mich. – Former Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan had until 9 a.m. Friday to turn herself in to begin her six-month jail sentence for perjury.

Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit learned Brennan has turned herself in at the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and was being booked at the jail Friday morning.

The former judge became very emotional in court Friday before being sentenced to six months in jail, 18 months of probation and 200 hours of community service.

She was removed from the bench in June and prohibited from seeking the same office for six years by the Michigan Supreme Court. Her license was later suspended.

During Friday’s proceedings, Brennan broke down while giving a statement:

"Your honor, I’ve struggled with how to convey to you my remorse and shame that I feel because of what I’ve done.

"I know you read the letter than I wrote, and I wasn’t going to read any part of it here today because I didn’t think I would be able to make it through. But I think it’s important that the public know I’ve taken it so seriously, so I’m going to try to read a little bit of it.

“No good answer exists as to why I lied to Mr. Kaiser during my divorce deposition. It was ignorant, foolish and wrong. I’m devastated, I’ve lost my career and I’m a felon. My husband and I -- we didn’t have children. As a result, we threw ourselves into our careers. For years, I defined myself by what I did, and I believed I was doing something that was purposeful. Because of my actions, I’ve lost that. I appreciate that the public now has a more negative view of judges and lawyers because of what I did. That’s not what I wanted. I wanted the opposite. My family and friends have suffered because of my actions. I hate that I’ve put them through this. I’ve been publicly shamed. I’m humiliated and I’m embarrassed.”

Read her full statement here.

What happened

The Judicial Tenure Commission revealed a laundry list of problematic charges against Brennan, including misconduct in office, conduct clearly prejudicial to the administration of justice, and failure to respect and observe the law.

Most of the problems arose during the murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, who is serving a life sentence after his conviction. The case was brought to trial mainly because of Michigan State Police investigator Sean Furlong.

The Judicial Tenure Commission found Furlong and Brennan were having an affair during the trial, and when asked to remove herself from the case, Brennan refused.

The misconduct in office and tampering with evidence charges against Brennan were dropped as part of her plea.


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