June 4, 2011 — Now it’s getting…strange

Here is the latest in the continuing saga of the Atttorney Grievance Commission matter against Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver (retired) at the behest of Justice Maura D. Corrigan (retired and drafted to head the Department of Human Services):

 

And you might think..okay, this matter is being handed off from one associate counsel (Kimberly Uhuru) to another (but senior counsel), Patrick K. McGlinn…and you’d be right.  But if that’s all you thought, you might be missing something.

Mr. McGlinn has been deeply involved in all this since BEFORE the complaint against Justice Weaver went not only to the AGC but also the Judicial Tenure Commission.  That was April 28, 2010.  In fact, in this October 29, 2009, memo, Mr. McGlinn outlines a conversation he had with Judge Steven Servaas on Oct. 26, 2009.  In it he reports a third-party conversation that he alleged impugns Justice Weaver and Servaas’ Grand Rapids attorney,  Jon Muth.

This memo was much of the substance upon which her fellow Supreme Court Justices Steven Markam, Maura D. Corrigan, and Robert Preston Young, Jr., hung their assertions that Weaver had done wrong and deserved discipline.   You can read the entire file here at Justice Weaver’s own website.

Never mind for the moment that Justice Weaver has called Mr. McGlinn’s third-party report flat-out wrong, does this sound like a good idea to have this staffer–who already is so deeply involved in the process–heading up the AGC investigation?  Is this a bit like having the prosecutor also serving as the star witness in the case?

Sounded like time for another conversation about a hypothetical case with AGC Grievance Administrator Robert L. Agacinski.

“The facts of the case would be determinative in the decision process as to how to proceed,” he said.  ”If a staff member has a role in a case, it would depend.  It’s my judgement call.  The staff members investigate, they don’t provide evidence or testimony.”

But didn’t Mr. McGlinn already do that for the Supreme Court and before the JTC in the form of his memo?

Is there ultimately the appearance of a conflict of interest with Mr. McGlinn heading up the investigation for the AGC–whether or not it exists in fact?

And with eleven other counsel members, why was this taken from Ms. Uhuru and assigned to Mr. McGlinn?

“It’s really my call if there is some concern whether my staff have formed an opinion,” said Mr. Agacinski.  ”It’s really a function of whether the Grievance Commission is supervised properly.  We haven’t had issues in the eleven years I’ve been heading the office.”

I suggested that there might be an issue in a non-hypothetical sense.  ”I think I know what you are alluding to,” he said.

A day after our conversation Mr. McGlinn sent a confirmation of his assignment to Justice Weaver:

Justice Weaver promises her response in the near future.

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