Wayne County Judge Sheila Gibson faces disciplinary action after a 7 Action News investigation
5:03 PM, Jun 11, 2013
6:26 PM, Jun 11, 2013
DETROIT (WXYZ) - Showing up hours late to work, again and again, has Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Sheila Gibson in trouble with the State Judicial Tenure Commission—and it comes as a result of a 7 Action News Investigation.
According to the written JTC Decision and Recommendation, "…it is neither reasonable nor fair for everyone to have to wait for a judge who is not being respectful of her obligation to start Court in a timely manner."
The JTC also writes that Gibson committed judicial misconduct, and specifically cited our 7 Action News Investigation, which aired last November, and documented with undercover video, how Gibson showed up hours late for work and left early.
We followed the judge for five days straight. The longest day she put in was a five-and-a-half hour workday.
Gibson is at the juvenile court within Wayne County Circuit Court's family division. She earns $140,000 annually.
We learned about her tardiness from a dad whose son's case was before the judge.
"There's no accountability down there," said the father, who asked not to be identified for fear his son would face retribution. "And you know I'm accountable, you're accountable. We all need to be accountable."
When 7 Action News Investigator Scott Lewis confronted Gibson in November at the court house parking lot with questions about her tardiness, she said, "My mother's passed and her birthday was yesterday. It's not a good day for me."
Our report also showed how Gibson was as late as three hours, and was leaving many people waiting in her courtroom, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerks, social workers, parents and kids.
The judge had no explanation for us, and she did not have an explanation for the JTC, which will send its Decision and Recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court. It says Gibson negotiated a settlement agreement, essentially admitting to what we reported. It asks the court to censure Gibson.