A judge exposed by the 7 Action News Investigators cleans up her act...sort of

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The 7 Action News Investigators are taking action for you by holding a local judge accountable. She chronically shows up to work late and leaves early.

But today that judge changed her ways, at least a little bit.

Wayne County Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Gibson was just a tad late for work today, and worked a bit longer than the repeated five hour work days we caught on tape in our investigation, but not a full day.

The Investigators tracked Judge Gibson for five straight days in October. She didn't put in a single eight hour day. Worse yet, she was late every morning, up to two hours late, and left lots of people waiting in her courtroom wasting their time and money.

It has become a running joke at the courthouse with people inside guessing when she will show up.

Judge Gibson earns $140,000 per year, and the taxpayers are getting short-changed. When we confronted her, she wouldn't answer questions about her short work days.

But our story, that first aired Thursday night, did have some impact.  Gibson arrived at the courthouse, just after 9 a. m on Friday, a little late, but not like it was before our investigation.

Gibson had cases scheduled to go at 9 a. m Friday—and they were called only twenty minutes late.  That's much better than the two hours late we saw when we had her under surveillance in mid-October.

Gibson left work at 3:35 p. m Friday as a 7 Action News Intern shot video with his cell phone from a public sidewalk.  That's still only a 6 and-a-half hour work day, not the eight hour day judges are supposed to work.

A Michigan Supreme Court rule says "a definite time must be set for all court sessions, and the judge shall promptly open a session." But a Supreme Court spokesperson told us they're on the honor system.

Virgil Smith is the Chief Judge presiding over the 3rd Circuit that includes the Juvenile court.  We asked Smith who holds judges accountable. He said he would watch our story and hold the judge accountable. This morning we called Smith. His assistant told us judge Smith had nothing more to add to what he already told us.

You can be sure the 7 Action News Investigators will keep watching.

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