Formal Complaint Filed Against 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan
June 12, 2018
The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission has filed a formal complaint against 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan.
The complaint alleges various counts involving failure to disclose/disqualify and states Brennan’s actions constitute a pattern of improper conduct in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The complaint states Brennan did not disclose the full extent and nature of her relationship with MSP Detective Sergeant Sean Furlong during the 2013 double murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, which she presided over. Furlong was a significant witness for the prosecution as he took the statement of the defendant. The complaint states Brennan also failed to disclose her close, personal friendship with Brighton Attorney Shari Pollesch, who was the counsel of record in various cases before Brennan and never obtained a waiver of disqualification. Another instance noted is related to 53rd District Court Administrator & Chief Probation Officer Francine Zysk and alleges Brennan failed to disclose regular contact and a close social relationship with Zysk and presided over her divorce case. Other counts are related to Brennan failing to disqualify herself from her own divorce case in a timely manner, alleging she waited to sign the disqualification order until six days after she knew the complaint was filed. Other counts are tied to an appearance of impropriety, conduct during depositions, failure to be faithful to the law, improper demeanor, directing staff to conduct Brennan’s personal tasks on court time and misrepresentations. The Judicial Tenure Commission his requesting that the Michigan Supreme Court appoint a master in relation to the formal proceeding.
The full complaint filing is attached. (JM)