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Michigan Supreme Court suspends Wayne County Circuit Court Judge

On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade H. McCree Jr. will be suspended without pay if voters re-elect him this year. The Michigan Supreme Court ordered Wade McCree’s removal from office and further suspended him for six more years.

In a 34-page ruling that issues a blistering indictment of McCree’s misconduct in office that began in 2012, including an affair with a witness in a case before him, the state’s highest court concluded, “The cumulative effect of respondent’s misconduct convinces this court that respondent should not remain in judicial office and we therefore remove him from that office and conditionally suspend him without pay for six years beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, with the suspension becoming effective only if respondent is re-elected to judicial office in November 2014.”

The justices added “the likelihood of his continuing to commit judicial misconduct is high.” The punishment Wednesday affirmed what the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission had recommended in September after disciplinary hearings in the case against McCree.

The court said in its ruling that McCree’s misconduct undermined the justice system.

“Indeed, there is not much, if anything, that is more prejudicial to the actual administration of justice than having a sexual relationship with a complaining witness without recusing oneself, engaging in ex parte communications with this mistress/complaining witness, attempting to use the prosecutor’s office as leverage against this now ex-mistress by concocting charges of stalking and extortion against her, and then lying under oath about these matters.”

The decision comes a year after McCree was suspended from the bench without pay following a misconduct complaint filed against the judge by the commission after McCree’s affair with Geniene LaShay Mott, 31, a plaintiff who had a child support case before him in 2012. McCree, a married father of two, admitted to the affair but said his assignations did not influence his decision in her case.

McCree, 57, who filed for re-election last month for the judgeship, which pays about $140,000 annually, was accused of having romantic rendezvous in his chambers with the woman. He also was accused of making offensive remarks to her about litigants in his courtroom, referring to some of them as “tatted up, overweight, half-ass English speaking gap-tooth skank hoes” in text messages to Mott.

In their ruling, the justices found that McCree “lied repeatedly to the JTC and the master while under oath” and violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

The Michigan Supreme Court also found:

“McCree’s problem with the truth is also shown in his contact with law enforcement officials in seeking to have pressure brought to bear on Mott.”

“(L)ying under oath is entirely incompatible with judicial office and warrants removal. In the instant case … respondent has done far more than lie under oath. And he committed most of this misconduct while being investigated by the JTC for other misconduct for which he has since been sanctioned.”

The judicial misconduct complaint against McCree led to a four-day disciplinary hearing in May by the commission.

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