UPDATE: Former judge sentenced to 6 months for perjury

Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 1:51 PM EST
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Former Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 18 months probation after pleading guilty to perjury on Friday.

She was sentenced on Friday in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Paul Cusick.

"Even though you made others and required others to tell the truth, when it came time to raise your hand and tell the truth, you decided you weren’t going to do that," Cusick said before handing down his sentence.

Brennan faced a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

She was emotional in the courtroom, saying her actions resulted in her letting down her community.

She said she was remorseful and felt shame.

She was removed from the bench in June and prohibited from seeking the same office for six years by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Her license was later suspended.

The Judicial Tenure Commission revealed a laundry list of problematic charges against Brennan.

They included misconduct in office, conduct clearly prejudicial to the administration of justice, and failure to respect and observe the law.

The list comes largely from the murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, who is serving a life sentence after his conviction.

The case was brought to trial mainly because of Michigan State Police investigator Sean Furlong.

The Judicial Tenure Commission found Furlong and Brennan were carrying on an affair during the trial, and when asked to remove herself from the case, Brennan refused.

Misconduct in office and tampering with evidence charges against Brennan were dropped as part of her plea.

Applause could be heard in the courtroom after the sentencing ended.

Brennan’s defense attorneys wrote in a brief to Judge Cusick, "We expect more from judges and lawyers. But Ms. Brennan has already been punished for her status as a judge by removal from office. She recognizes that because of her actions the public likely has a more negative view of lawyers and judges and that pains her.”

It goes on to say taking that away her career "has been a strong punishment and sends the message that this type of behavior by judges will not be tolerated."

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