Widow speaks out about Judge Bruce Morrow

(WXYZ) - Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow says JTC allegations of his misconduct from the bench are just not true, and, in a response to the formal complaint filed Thursday, he details why he thinks the complaint should be withdrawn.

Meanwhile, a woman who saw Judge Morrow on the bench over a decade ago says the Judicial Tenure Commission complaint against him should be expanded.

In his 34 page response to JTC complaint number 92, Morrow attempts to explain and provide answers to 95 specific allegations or statements made by the JTC.

The complaint says, in part, that Morrow abused his judicial power or violated the code of judicial conduct in ten cases they site over the past decade. Morrow says the allegations do not rise to a level that warrant JTC examination or action.

But ask Christine Scandirito of Genesee County and you get a different opinion about the way Morrow handles his role as Judge. 

"He was giving high fives to his staff when he came into the courtroom," says Christine, as she begins to detail the trial for a man who robbed and stabbed her husband to death in October of 1999.

She is furious to this day that Morrow, as the presiding judge, declared a mistrial based on her emotional testimony.

She was the first, and quickly became the only witness in the first murder trial against Robert Person, who was eventually convicted of her husband Richard's murder and is still serving life in a Michigan prison.

Sobbing on the witness stand, she tried to detail her role in discovering her husbands blood-soaked van on a Detroit freeway hours after he was deemed "missing" from his circulation managers job at the Detroit Free Press.

"He was pissed," Christine says as she describes Morrow's reaction to her testimony. "He told the attorneys I had prejudiced the jury and declared a mistrial. It was over before it started." She says it was two years before Person was convicted. "I'm happy with the outcome, but it didn't have to take as long as it did."

Scandirito would like to convince the JTC to look back 13 years, not just ten, into Morrows conduct on the bench. But Morrow's attorney, Donald Campbell says "the JTC is going after a good man and a good judge. The allegations go to the heart of Judicial independence. A judge must be allowed discretion."

Retired Oakland County Circuit court Judge Ed Soznick will act as special master in the upcoming JTC hearing for Judge Morrow.

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