INKSTER (WXYZ) - It is official: Inkster has a new head of the 22 nd District Court. The interim judge was appointed weeks after the State Supreme Court booted the former judge Sylvia James from the bench.
7 Action News Investigator Bill Proctor broke the story that has led to James’s removal.
Sabrina Johnson’s appointment to the Inkster bench Thursday will run until January 1, 2013. But in November, Johnson and James – both lifelong Inkster residents with strong community ties–will face off in the upcoming election.
This afternoon, Johnson was on stage in front of many judges in Michigan to be sworn in as interim Chief Judge of Inkster’s 22 nd District Court.
“I have been an Inkster resident my entire life,” Johnson told 7 Action News. “My family has been in the city since 1943, and so we have long-standing ties to the community.”
Johnson will on the bench where Sylvia James was chief judge for more than 23 years. But the State Supreme Court removed James from the bench this summer in the months following the 7 Action News investigation into allegations that she misused court funds, nepotism and other misconduct.
Even after some justices deemed James unfit to return to the bench, Inkster voters gave her more votes than any other candidate in the August primary, including Johnson, who got the second highest. Johnson must beat James in November to stay on the bench.
How will she both campaign and maintain her workload as Inkster’s interim judge?
“I worked full time during the primary campaign I’m used to doing two jobs,” said Johnson. “I think that the experience that I have had has lead me to understand the concerns of victims, and the concerns of defendants.”
James told us after the Supreme Court hearing in Lansing in July, she too wants voters to support her return to the bench.
"There is a good possibility that they will consider me as a candidate for another term," James said.
7 Action News attempted to contact James through her attorney Sharon McPhail and even stopped by James’s home, but did not respond.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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