Michigan Supreme Court Removes Judge Wade McCree From Detroit Bench, Suspends Him
On March 26th, 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court found that the cumulative effect of Judge Wade McCree's misconduct required his removal from judicial office and imposition of a conditional suspension preventing him from holding judicial office in Michigan through 2021.
In In re McCree, Docket No. 146826, the Supreme Court stated
In summary, respondent had an affair with a complaining witness in a case pending before him, had numerous ex parte communications with that witness about the case, extended to her special treatment concerning the case, and caused her reasonably to believe that she was influencing how he was handling her case. When their relationship subsequently went sour, he sought to employ the prosecuting attorney’s office as leverage against her by concocting charges of stalking and extortion. And he lied repeatedly to the JTC and the master while under oath. Respondent is now unfit to serve as a judge, and he will remain unfit to do so one year from now.
We agree with the JTC that a removal, without more, would be an insufficient sanction in this case. If we were to remove respondent and he was reelected in 2014, that would amount to a less than one-year suspension (less than two years including his interim suspension), which we believe is clearly insufficient given the seriousness of his misconduct. This Court has a duty to preserve the integrity of the judiciary. Allowing respondent to serve as a judge after only a one-year suspension will not, in our judgment, adequately preserve the integrity of our state’s judiciary. Respondent was just recently publicly censured by this Court and yet continued to engage in misconduct, with his attitude toward the instant JTC investigation perhaps being best summarized by his remark that although “Wade should have recused himself,” “no harm no foul.” This is strongly suggestive that respondent has not yet learned from his mistakes and that the likelihood of his continuing to commit judicial misconduct is high. Such a cavalier attitude about serious misconduct is disturbing, and respondent’s apparent failure to comprehend fully the magnitude of his wrongdoing is equally troublesome.