Diane Hathaway

Politics & Government
8:58 am
Wed May 29, 2013

This week in Michigan politics: Hathaway sentencing, Schauer's bid for governor, education funding

cncphotos flickr

Week in Michigan politics interview for 5/29/2013

This week in Michigan politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss the sentencing of former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway, former Congressman’s Mark Schauer’s run for governor, and a proposed funding increase for education in the state budget this year.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:53 am
Wed May 29, 2013

In this morning's news: Diane Hathaway sentenced, additional funding for schools, weather update

In this morning's news...
Brother O'Mara Flickr

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice sentenced to jail time

“Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway was sentenced to one year and one day in federal custody, for the crime of bank fraud. Federal prosecutors say Diane Hathaway illegally concealed a million dollars in assets, so she could qualify for favorable terms on a short sale of one of her homes in Michigan. The defendant had hoped to avoid prison time,” Michigan Radio's Vincent Duffy reports.

Michigan schools could see increase in state funding

“Michigan public schools would see more state funding under a budget plan approved by the state House. Every school would see at least a five-dollar per-pupil boost. Schools getting the minimum amount from the state could receive up to 60 dollars more per student. The state Senate is expected to take up the education budget today,” Michigan Radio’s Jake Neher reports.

Strong winds and funnel clouds cause damage in Michigan

"The National Weather Service reported several funnel cloud sightings in Michigan last night, including a tornado that landed near Goodrich High School southeast of Flint. No injuries were immediately reported. The weather service says high winds in the same severe thunderstorm system heavily damaged several homes, toppling numerous trees and power lines," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Culture
4:41 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

There are many ideas and strategies being talked about for how to keep young people in Michigan. On today's show:  we spoke with one young writer who says it's simply not enough.

And we heard about how refugees, having survived physical and psychological traumas in their home countries, are getting mental health services here in Michigan.

Also, Rick Pluta gave us an update on ex-Justice Diane Hathaway, who was sentenced for fraud in federal court today in Ann Arbor.

Read more
Stateside
4:38 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Diane Hathaway sentenced to one year and a day in prison

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diana Hathaway and her lawyer Steve Fishman leaving the federal courthouse in Ann Arbor after sentencing.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

An interview with Rick Pluta about Diane Hathaway.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway was sentenced for bank fraud in federal court today in Ann Arbor.

Hathaway was forced to resign in January, halfway through her eight-year term on the state Supreme Court.

She resigned before pleading guilty to a scheme to cheat a bank by hiding assets including a vacation home in Florida.

That helped her qualify as a distressed homeowner, so she could then sell a lakefront home in Grosse Pointe Park as a short-sale.

Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, has been covering this story for us, and he joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Law
2:57 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway sentenced to 12 months and one day

Former Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway leaving the federal courthouse in Ann Arbor with her attorney Steve Fishman.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara today in federal court. She was also ordered to pay $90,000 in restitution to ING bank. 

She will also serve two years supervised release after she gets out of prison.

Her attorney Steven Fishman says Hathaway will pay the fine today.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:35 am
Tue May 28, 2013

In this morning's news: Diane Hathaway in court, Benton Harbor on the rebound, Farm Bill rally

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

State Supreme Court Justice faces sentencing

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is due in court today to be sentenced for fraud. Hathaway was forced to resign in January when she pleaded guilty to a scheme to cheat the bank by hiding assets.  Hathaway’s attorney is asking that she be allowed to perform community service and pay thousands of dollars in fines; however, federal prosecutors have asked for prison time of 12 to 18 months. Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta has more.

Benton Harbor EM believes deficit will be eliminated in one year

Tony Saunders, the emergency manager of Benton Harbor, says elected leaders are likely to regain control within a year when the city's structural deficit will be eliminated. Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith reports Benton Harbor’s new emergency manager says he’s cut more than a million dollars from the budget in just three months.

Senator Debbie Stabenow's farm bill is headed to the senate

Senator Debbie Stabenow will rally in West Michigan this week. She's trying to get farmers to pressure lawmakers to pass her new farm bill to funds crop insurance programs and research to help fight invasive insects. Last year the Senate passed the farm bill but it died in the House. The Senate is expected to vote on the farm bill early next month.

Politics & Government
11:06 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Ex-justice Hathaway to be sentenced Tuesday

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway
Credit michigan.gov

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway finds out tomorrow whether she’s headed to prison for bank fraud.

Hathaway pleaded guilty in federal court to concealing a vacation home in Florida, and other assets, to engineer the short sale of a lakefront property in Grosse Pointe Park.

She also resigned the state Supreme Court seat she won in the 2008 election. 

Read more
Politics & Government
8:24 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Commentary: The governor’s Supreme Court appointment

Lessenberry commentary for 2/28/13

Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder finally filled the vacancy on the Michigan Supreme Court created when disgraced Justice Diane Hathaway resigned last month, just before pleading guilty to felony bank fraud. His pick was a mild surprise; David Viviano, the young chief circuit judge in Macomb County.

Later that afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised that the governor called me to explain the process by which he made this appointment. I suspect this was because I have talked and written a lot about the Michigan Supreme Court, which didn’t have the highest reputation, even before the Hathaway scandal.

Read more
Politics & Government
10:47 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Commentary: Supreme Court scandal

Lessenberry commentary for 1/30/13

Well, it’s now official: A person who ten days ago was a Michigan Supreme Court justice is now a convicted felon.

Diane Hathaway pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a single count of bank fraud. While on the bench of Michigan’s highest court,she temporarily transferred three of four expensive houses she and her husband owned to her stepchildren.

She did this, the federal prosecutor and the FBI said, as part of an elaborate scheme to hide assets from the bank. This was done in order to make it look like she and her husband, attorney Michael Kingsley, were suffering financial hardship.

They wanted to look worse off than they were because they wanted to convince her bank to allow her to sell yet another home they owned in Grosse Pointe Park in what’s called a short sale.

Read more
Law
11:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway pleads guilty to bank fraud

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway.
michigan.gov

Update 11:30 a.m.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway stood in front of federal judge this morning and plead guilty to felony bank fraud charges. More from the Detroit Free Press:

Hathaway stood quietly at a podium in U.S District Court in Ann Arbor this morning, acknowledging she intentionally defrauded a federally-insured financial institution when she short-sold her Grosse Pointe Park home.

According to an agreement negotiated with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, her punishment is limited to up to 18 months behind bars or could be as little as 4-10 months if a pre-sentence report determines there was no actual financial loss.

“Yes your honor, I agree,” Hathaway said to Eastern District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara.

She is scheduled to be sentenced in May. The Detroit News reports that Hathaway's attorney, Steve Fishman, is likely to argue that her actions did not harm the bank:

Fishman has previously said Hathaway and her husband, attorney Michael Kingsley, saved the bank $150,000 by negotiating a short sale of their home rather then letting it be sold at a foreclosure auction.

But prosecutors have tripped up Hathaway on a fraud charge because she and Kingsley transferred a posh second home in Windermere, Fla., valued at $664,000, to one of Kingsley's daughters while applying for the short sale — and then got the house back after selling the Grosse Pointe Park home.

During the short sale process, in 2010 and 2011, Hathaway also acquired two other homes in Grosse Pointe Park on Windmill Pointe and Balfour Street and transferred them to her stepchildren. Hathaway's stepdaughter, Sarah Kingsley, transferred the Balfour Street back to Hathaway after the short sale of the home on Lakeview Court, public records show.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade plans to hold a press conference this afternoon to talk about the Hathaway case.

10:45 a.m.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is due in federal court today for an anticipated guilty plea to bank fraud. More from the Associated Press:

Hathaway is accused of concealing assets while trying to persuade a bank that she needed a short sale. That was to get rid of a Grosse Pointe Park home that carried a big mortgage.

Her hearing is set for today in Ann Arbor federal court.

Hathaway was charged Jan. 18, three days before she left the Supreme Court because of the scandal.

She and her husband transferred a debt-free Florida home to a relative before the 2011 sale of their Detroit-area home. After the short sale went through, the Florida property went back in their names.

Hathaway was elected to the Supreme Court in 2008.

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat January 26, 2013

The week in review

Week in review interview

This “week in review”, Michigan Radio’s Weekend Edition host Rina Miller and political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss proposed gun laws in Michigan, who might replace former Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway, and the new hiring rules for emergency financial managers in the state.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:16 am
Fri January 25, 2013

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Michigan Attorney General questions Hathaway's fitness as a lawyer

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette asked the Attorney Grievance Commission to investigate former Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway’s “fitness to practice law.” As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"Schuette requested the investigation as Hathaway, who officially retired Monday amid an ethics scandal, awaits a Tuesday appearance in federal court in Ann Arbor on a felony charge of bank fraud. She is expected to plead guilty. The federal charge relates to property transfers Hathaway made while seeking a short sale on a home in Grosse Pointe Park. But Schuette said in his letter to Attorney Grievance Commission administrator  that the allegations against Hathaway raise questions about her fitness to hold a law license, not just to be a judge."

Obama administration to address Detroit's abandoned buildings

"US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senator Carl Levin and Michigan officials will host a meeting in Detroit today to talk about how tax breaks for historic preservation projects can help distressed cities. In a statement, Secretary Salazar says the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program has been used for 70 projects in Detroit since 2000. He says he wants to talk about how that program can help revitalize the city," Sarah Hulett reports.

Detroit Public Schools expect more cuts

"The Detroit Public Schools plans to shrink even more to wipe out its deficit by 2016. The district’s latest deficit elimination plan projects that enrollment will dip below 40,000 students. In order to 'stay ahead of the cost curve,' emergency financial manager Roy Roberts proposes some drastic cuts—including closing as many as 28 more schools," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Law
3:03 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Former justice Diane Hathaway will face bank fraud charge next week

michigan.gov

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway will face a federal bank fraud charge in a United States District Court in Ann Arbor next Tuesday.

The charge was filed as criminal “information,” meaning Hathaway has negotiated with prosecutors and is likely to plead guilty, the Detroit News reports.

Read more
Politics & Government
9:06 am
Wed January 23, 2013

The week in Michigan politics

cncphotos flickr

Week in Michigan politics interview

In this week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss the likelihood of Michigan having a part time legislature, what will happen to former Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway and who is likely to replace her. Lessenberry and Shockley also talk about the 26-year-old who will soon be the emergency manager for Benton Harbor.

Read more
Politics & Government
8:21 am
Wed January 23, 2013

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Survey: It should be tougher to become a teacher

"It should be a lot tougher to become a teacher in this state. At least that's what the Center for Michigan found in a statewide survey of some 7,500 people. Eighty percent of educators polled say Michigan needs better teacher preparation," Kate Wells reports.

Governor Snyder wants state to put more money in early childhood education

Governor Rick Snyder wants the legislature to support more funding for early childhood education. As the Detroit News reports,

"Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday he will ask the Legislature to undertake a "significant phase-in" of 29,000 4-year-olds into public preschool programs over the next few years, an annual investment of $130 million. The state can't afford to add all 29,000 children eligible for the Great Start Readiness Program at once, Snyder said, so he intends to propose ramping up enrollment over a period of years to ease the impact on the budget."

Former Michigan Supreme Court justice Hathaway expected to plead guilty

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway will be in court next week. She resigned from the high court on Monday.  As the Detroit News reports,

"Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway will find herself on the other side of the bench on Tuesday when she's likely to plead guilty to bank fraud charges related to questionable real estate transactions, legal experts say."

Read more
Politics & Government
7:29 am
Tue January 22, 2013

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Critics of Governor Snyder's roads funding say weight limit an issue

Critics of Governor Rick Snyder's proposal to spend more than a billion dollars to fix Michigan's roads say the state should change it's weight limit on roads. Michigan has the highest weight limit on roads in the nation. As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"They say if Michigan brought its weight restrictions more into line with other states, its roads and bridges would last longer. State officials acknowledge Michigan's maximum truck weight of 164,000 pounds -- just more than twice the federal weight limit."

Hathaway resignation could give Supreme Court a Republican 5-2 majority

State Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway officially resigned yesterday. As Kate Wells reports, "She's facing federal charges for bank fraud. But it's not just the political scandal: Hathaway was nominated to the bench by a Democratic governor. Now, Republican Governor Rick Snyder gets to choose her replacement. That could bring the court's tally to five Republican judges and just two Democrats."

McDonalds to pay fine to a Detroit-area restaurant over claim on Muslim dietary law

"McDonald's and one of its franchise owners have agreed to pay $700,000 dollars to members of the Muslim community. That's in an effort to settle allegations a Detroit-area restaurant falsely advertised its food as being prepared according to Islamic dietary laws. A spokesman says there's no evidence McDonald's set out to deceive customers," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
2:19 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Hathaway resignation official; Snyder considers replacements for Supreme Court seat

michigan.gov

As Justice Diane Hathaway officially resigns from the Michigan Supreme Court today, Governor Rick Snyder says he is considering her replacement.

Hathaway’s resignation comes after federal prosecutors charged the justice with bank fraud in connection with a 2011 real estate deal.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:54 am
Wed January 9, 2013

The week in Michigan politics

Michigan Supreme Court
Subterranean Flickr

Week in Michigan politics interview for 1/9/13

This week in Michigan politics, Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host, Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio’s political analyst, Jack Lessenberry discuss the resignation of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway and the firing of Detroit’s top lawyer.

Justice Hathaway resigned this week. This comes after a disciplinary panel filed an ethics complaint against her. The complaint accuses Hathaway of cheating and lying about a real estate transaction that saved her $600,000.

Lessenberry says, “It’s another black eye to the Michigan Supreme Court which has been rated the least respected of all Supreme Courts in the Nation by the University of Chicago by a law school study there.”

Read more
Politics & Government
3:48 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Stateside: Changes in Court majority likely to follow Justice Hathaway's resignation

Michigan's Hall of Justice, where the state Supreme Court meets.
Eridony flickr

Larry Dubin discusses Justice Hathaway's resignation.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway will resign January 21.

The news came after the state’s Judicial Tenure Commission unveiled a 19-page complaint accusing her of money laundering, fraud and tax evasion.

“It is an event that has never happened and I think is of very great consequence,” said Larry Dubin of University of Detroit Mercy Law School.

“There is an adversarial relationship between the Judicial Tenure Commission and judges they eventually go after.”

Read more
Politics & Government
8:36 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Commentary: Vacancy in the Court

Lessenberry essay for 1/8/13

A young reporter once asked me how you could tell if a someone was really retiring of their own free will, or being fired. “Well,” I said, “When someone prominent retires, they often announce it well in advance, and they honor them with a dinner. When someone suddenly leaves at ten in the morning on Tuesday, allegedly to spend more time with their family, they’ve been fired.” 

Yesterday, we learned that Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is “retiring” from the court, barely halfway through her first term. Her retirement was announced right after the Judicial Tenure Commission lodged a formal complaint against her.

That complaint is perhaps the most damning against a sitting judge I’ve ever seen. It claims she violated federal and state laws against fraud, federal money laundering and tax laws, and constitute “conduct that is contrary to justice, ethics, honesty, or good morals.”

None of this comes as much of a surprise. Last spring, WXYZ-TV in Detroit first reported irregularities in the sale of a house she and her husband owned in Grosse Pointe Park.

Two months ago, federal authorities then sued Hathaway and her husband, who is also a lawyer, and have attempted to seize a home they own in Florida for fraudulently hiding real estate they owned in order to get a bank to write off a large mortgage.

Read more

Pages