Judge: There's 'shame' in Michigan's judge's game
DETROIT (AP) - A married judge who once bragged there was "no shame" in his "game" about a shirtless photo he sent to a married court deputy lied about his handling of a child support case, according to a report submitted to the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.
The commission will use the report to recommend to the state Supreme Court possible sanctions for suspended Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree.
Retired Jackson County Judge Charles Nelson submitted his Master's Report Sunday to the commission. Nelson presided last month over a hearing in which the commission accused McCree of misconduct and making a false felony report.
McCree met Geniene LaShay Mott when a child support case involving Robert King, her daughter's father, came before his court in March 2012. McCree and Mott eventually started an affair that included the two of them having sex in the judge's chambers.
The judge failed to immediately recuse himself from the case and ordered King to wear an electronic tether until the child support was paid.
The Supreme Court suspended McCree without pay in February.
McCree testified at last month's hearing that failing to move the child support case from his courtroom was an oversight. McCree's doctor also testified that he diagnosed the judge last year with a mental condition called "hypomania," which causes him to make abnormal, overly confident public statements.
Nelson wrote that McCree's testimony was not credible and that McCree lied to the tenure commission which investigated his actions.
"He had a hot young lady who was in his words `eye candy' and a way to keep her interested was to keep her case and be of assistance in the collection of money," Nelson wrote. " ... it should have DAWNED on him that he should not even by hearing the matter."
As his relationship with Mott soured and she demanded that McCree divorce his wife, McCree told a prosecutor that he was being stalked.
Mott also testified last month that she was pregnant but declined to say whether McCree is the father.
"Whether Mott is pregnant or not and who is the baby's father are not of concern," Nelson wrote, "we leave that for the Jerry Springer show. But the events ... show a pattern of lies and deception by McCree in his dealings with Mott."
McCree's attorney, Brian Einhorn, told The Associated Press Monday that he was disappointed by portions of Nelson's report.
"He felt Wade McCree not recusing himself was a bad act and a bad move- a statement we agreed with," Einhorn said.
But Nelson questioned McCree's credibility with his claims that Mott was stalking him, Einhorn added.
"Which was disappointing because Judge McCree was being candid," he said.
McCree is a member of a prominent Detroit family. His late father, Wade McCree Jr., was a federal judge who also argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court as solicitor general under President Jimmy Carter.
In a different ethics case, the Michigan Supreme Court reprimanded McCree last year after he sent a shirtless photo of himself to a female court employee.
At the time, McCree told TV station WJBK: "No shame to my game."
"In final summary there is shame in the McCree game: shame to the good name of McCree and shame brought upon the judiciary of the state of Michigan," he wrote.
Einhorn suspects the tenure commission will seek McCree's removal from the bench as a sanction.
"I don't think that's appropriate," he said.
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