Diane Hathaway

Politics & Government
7:32 am
Tue January 8, 2013

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Supreme Court Justice Hathaway resigns

"Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway announced Monday she will retire from the bench Jan. 21 after the Judicial Tenure Commission filed a formal complaint calling for her immediate suspension from the bench for alleged “blatant and brazen violations” of judicial conduct rules the commission said were “unprecedented in Michigan judicial disciplinary history.” Among the charges in the complaint is that Hathaway submitted false answers to the Judicial Tenure Commission during its recent investigation of private real estate transactions by Hathaway which are the subject of an FBI investigation," the Lansing State Journal reports.

Electric cars required to make more noise

The federal government is planning to issue new rules regulating car noise for electric vehicles. Electric and hybrid cars are sometimes too quiet. That could increase pedestrian and vehicle accidents, especially when it comes to visually impaired pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants all electric and hybrid vehicles to make some noise when traveling under 18 miles per hour to deal with the problem, Tracy Samilton reports.

Child welfare workers protected under new Michigan law

"A new law signed by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson gives private child welfare agencies and their workers in Michigan extra protection from lawsuits if they're under contract with the state. They'll be immune from liability for personal injuries or property damages unless their conduct amounts to 'gross negligence or willful misconduct,'" the Associated Press reports.

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Breaking
4:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway resigns

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway
michigan.gov

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway has resigned.

That news became public just hours after an ethics complaint was filed against her, along with an unprecedented request that she be suspended from the court.

The state Supreme Court had never been asked to take this kind of disciplinary action against a sitting justice.

Before the court acted on her suspension, Justice Hathaway’s attorney said she had already agreed to resign and won’t participate in any more cases. Hathaway’s resignation becomes official on January 21st.

The complaint accuses her of fraud and money laundering in a real estate deal, as well as lying about it to the Judicial Tenure Commission.        

Hathaway still faces a federal lawsuit that seeks to seize her Florida vacation home.         

Hathaway is a Democrat elected to the court in 2008. It will be up to Republican Governor Rick Snyder to name a replacement.

Update 4:26 p.m.

A lawyer says embattled Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway will retire on Jan. 21.

Steve Fishman tells The Associated Press that Hathaway filed the paperwork on Dec. 20. He made the disclosure Monday after a judicial watchdog agency filed a complaint and asked the Supreme Court to suspend Hathaway over a series of suspicious real estate transactions.

Fishman says the Judicial Tenure Commission was told about Hathaway's retirement in December. He says the filing of the 19-page complaint was a "gratuitous" move.

The commission says Hathaway committed "blatant and brazen" violations of professional conduct in the 2011 short sale of her home in Grosse Pointe Park. Hathaway and her husband put a debt-free Florida home in a relative's name, but regained the property when the Michigan sale was completed.

2:48 p.m.

The Michigan Supreme Court will be asked for the first time to suspend a sitting justice for misconduct.

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission has filed a formal complaint against Justice Diane Hathaway. The disciplinary board has also asked the court to suspend Hathaway while the proceedings play out.

She has 14 days to respond to the complaint. Hathaway is accused of ethics violations for allegedly using property swaps to arrange a short sale that saved the couple hundreds of thousands of dollars -- a loss that was swallowed by the bank. The U.S. Attorney in Detroit has also filed a lawsuit against Hathaway.

Politics & Government
12:32 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway will fight to keep house

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway plans to fight the federal government's lawsuit.
michigan.gov

A story broke yesterday that Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway had cleared out her office at the Hall of Justice. 

Many took this as a sign that Justice Hathaway was preparing to resign from the court amid an FBI investigation into her real-estate dealings.

But Hathaway denied the claims that her office had be cleared or that she was planning to resign.

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Politics & Government
8:51 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Commentary: Disorder in the court

Essay

Let’s start by saying something we should never forget: In America, anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway hasn’t even been accused of a criminal offense. But in a development that has been expected for months, U.S. District Attorney Barbara McQuade has filed civil charges accusing the justice and her husband of real estate fraud. The complaint alleges that they, quote “systematically and fraudulently transferred property and hid assets.”

What happened, according to the feds, was this: Two years ago, the Hathaways wanted to arrange a so-called short sale of a home they owned in the Detroit area. In other words, they wanted to sell the house for less than they owed on their mortgage. 

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Politics & Government
6:32 am
Wed November 21, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Feds accuse Supreme Court Justice of fraud

"Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway faces a federal civil lawsuit. It accuses Hathaway and her husband of hiding assets to qualify for a short sale on a $1.5 million home. Hathaway and her attorney have also tried to tamp down rumors that she is about to resign from the state’s highest court. Sources inside the Michigan Hall of Justice say Hathaway has cleared out her personal belongings from the state Supreme Court offices in Lansing. Hathaway sent an e-mail to her fellow justices saying she is not stepping down," Rick Pluta reports.

U of M doctor involved in insider trading scheme

"A University of Michigan doctor is at the center of what's possibly the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever. Sidney Gilman is an Alzheimer's expert. He's also a paid consultant for a hedge fund investing in Alzheimer's drugs. The Department of Justice alleges Gilman gave the hedge fund secret information: namely, that a major drug test by the company Elan was getting bad results. At a press conference, the F-B-I's April Brooks says Gilman and the hedge fund investor, knew sharing that information was illegal," Kate Wells reports.

Bill would allow a 12-week-old fetus to be claimed as dependent

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would let parents claim a fetus as a dependent on their tax returns. As Mlive reports,

"Michigan lawmakers may consider allowing a fetus of at least 12 weeks to qualify as a dependent for state income tax purposes -- a move that if put into law might be the first of its kind in the nation. . . A representative of the Michigan Family Forum, which supports the bill, said it could translate to a $160 savings that could be used for prenatal care or other purposes. But critics called the measure divisive and said it appeared to be a move to lay the groundwork to fight against abortions."

Developing
6:24 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Feds accuse Michigan Supreme Court justice of fraud

michigan.gov

Wednesday, November 21st, 12:38 p.m.

We began a new post on this story here. Here's an update from the Associated Press:

The lawyer for a Michigan Supreme Court justice accused of fraud says she'll file a claim to keep a Florida home out of the hands of the government.

Steve Fishman offered brief comments Wednesday, two days after prosecutors sued to take control of a house owned by Justice Diane Hathaway and husband Michael Kingsley.

The government says they temporarily transferred the home to a relative while trying to negotiate a short sale on a Michigan property. After the sale went through, and mortgage debt was erased, the Florida home went back to Hathaway and Kingsley.

The government says ING  Bank was cheated.

Fishman declined to respond to the fraud allegation but says Hathaway and Kingsley will fight to keep the property in Windermere, Fla.

No criminal charges have been filed.

Tuesday, November 20th 6:16 p.m.

The U.S. Attorney has filed a civil complaint against Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway and her husband, accusing them of fraud in a series of real estate transactions that allowed them to broker a short sale. The complaint seeks the forfeiture of the couple's of the couple’s $750,000 Florida home.

3:17 p.m.

MPRN's Rick Pluta spoke with Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty about his report that Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway has cleaned out of her office. Hathaway has denied the report.

"Clearly the easiest way to settle the question once and for all would be to look in the office.... I was told I would have to get permission from Justice Hathaway.... I called her office and was told simply 'your questions have been answered,'" said Pluta.

You can listen to Pluta's conversation with Canty below.

MPRN's Rick Pluta explains his report that Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway has cleared her office.

2:00 p.m.

This message was sent by Marcia M. McBrien, Public Information Officer at the Michigan Supreme Court: 

Please be advised that Justice Hathaway has sent the other justices and Court staff an e-mail stating that the rumors that she is going to resign are NOT true.

12:40 p.m.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway and her attorney say it's not true that she is about to resign, or that she has cleared out her Lansing office.

"She is not resigning. Period," says criminal attorney Steve Fishman, who represents Hathaway as she is investigated over real estate transactions. "Rumors of her resignation are greatly exaggerated."

Hathaway also sent an e-mail to Michigan Supreme Court employees saying she is not resigning.

Fishman and a woman identifying herself as Hathaway's senior law clerk says a junior law clerk moved out of Hathaway's office at the Michigan Hall of Justice last week.

11:32 a.m.

A source inside the state Hall of Justice confirms that Justice Diane Hathaway has cleaned out her Lansing office and the locker where she keeps her robe at the Michigan Supreme Court.

Hathaway is reportedly under investigation by the FBI over real estates transactions. She has not communicated officially with the state Supreme Court whether she intends to resign.

*Clarification - We updated our headline to reflect the new information we've learned from the court.

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