LANSING (WXYZ) - The Michigan State Supreme Court is now weighing whether Inkster Judge Sylvia James will keep her job or get bounced from the bench. It all came to light because of a 7 Action News Investigation.
The hearing just wrapped up moments ago in Lansing. The high court heard arguments from both sides. The Judicial Tenure Commission says the judge should be gone for at least six years and pay an $81,000 fine based on accusations that she misused the court's money for personal gain.
But James's lawyer Mayer Morganroth argued that the Inkster judge did nothing intentionally wrong and may have been unaware of how court funds can be legally used.
That argument did not fly with Chief Justice Robert Young who took Morganroth to task, questioning why a judge would not review the law.
"This woman is a judge," said Young. "What do you mean you might not look at the law? I mean I find that highly offensive to suggest that a judge of all people can wink and blink at the law. Is that the argument you're really advancing here?"
"Absolutely not," answered Morganroth. '"Your honor what I'm saying is if you look at the law and see the law then you don't go outside of it. She just may have assumed..."
But Young cut Morganroth off and pointed out how James seems to have ignored an audit of the court fund she is accused of misusing.
"And as I understand the record, James said she read that audit," said Young. "The reason this problem persisted beyond 2007 was she never followed the budget recommendation."
7 Action News Investigator Bill Proctor broke the story that led to James's removal.
He has been following this case, every step of the way. And will have more on this unfolding story.
Stay with wxyz.com.
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