INKSTER (WXYZ) - One day after a Channel 7 Action News investigation into Inkster Judge Sylvia James, and how she runs the city's 22nd District Court, there are new questions about the people who work for her, and charges that should keep them out of the courthouse altogether.
It's clear that Judge James controls what happens in her court room, including what people can and can't wear and who works for her.
Chief Judge James told Action News, “...the court employees are court employees, but they are paid by the funding unit.”
That funding unit she’s talking about is the city. But the judge chooses her people, like long-time security officer Mike Green. On Monday, Green was charged with four felonies for breaking into a court-house computer, and stealing documents for an upcoming trial.
Despite those charges, and the maximum sentences they carry of up to 22 years in state prison, Green was back at work in Judge James’s court, the day after he was arraigned on those charges. Judge James’s own personnel policy says being charged with a felony is reason for dismissal. So why is Green still on the job? Judge James has yet to return our calls.
The Inkster City Council tells Action News they have been concerned about Green for years. It’s insurance and liability that drive their concerns. Green wears a gun on his job as court officer, but they say he’s never completed gun safety training, which is required of city employees.
Inkster Mayor Hilliard Hampton tells Action News, “The court is covered by the insurance of the city. If we’re going to issue money for a gun, there has to be some sort of qualification, annual qualification for those sort of things. After all, at the end of the day, we are responsible.”
Our sources confirm it was Green’s loaded gun that Judge Sylvia James had inside her carry-on luggage as she tried to board a plane at metro airport in August of 2007. The council is also responsible for the gun Judge James has purchased for herself with court funds—she also has not completed the city’s gun safety training.
Action News spoke to the State Supreme Court administors and they tell us that Green should not be working for the court. They also say they will look into other questions we put to them about James and how she runs her court.
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