Mich.Supreme Court refuses request to suspend judge

Chris Rizo Apr. 10, 2008, 12:13pm

LANSING-The Michigan Supreme Court has denied a request to suspend Rockford Judge Steven Servaas pending the outcome of an investigation that could remove the long-serving judge from the bench.

The high-court rejected the request by the Judicial Tenure Commission in a one-sentence order. The Supreme Court in January denied a request by the commission to suspend Servaas without pay.

The Judicial Tenure Commission has sought to remove him from the bench because, among other things, he lived outside of his judicial division for more than two years.

Servaas, who has been on the bench for 36 years, said he believed he could live outside the boundaries of his judicial division because he did not intend to run for another term. He now, however, says he will run.

The judge is also accused of making a sexually inappropriate comment about a court worker and sketching at least two sexually related doodles.

Judicial Tenure Commission Executive Director Paul Fischer presented his case against Servaas during a hearing last week. Retired Berrien County Judge Casper Grathwohl, who presided over the four-day hearing, will issue an opinion by May 16 on whether Fischer proved wrongdoing.

The case then moves to the Judicial Tenure Commission for a hearing in June. If the panel finds fault with Servaas, the state Supreme Court will consider the matter.

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