Michigan judge fights to remain on the bench

Chris Rizo Jul. 14, 2008, 9:19am

Steven Servaas

LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline)-A Michigan judge will make his case today to remain on the bench amid allegations he made demeaning comments to a court employee and sketched inappropriate drawings on court records.

Rockford Judge Steven Servaas will appear before the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

The nine-member panel could remove the longtime judge from the bench. The commission's decision is appealable to the state Supreme Court.

Paul Fischer, executive director of the Judicial Tenure Commission, has sought to remove him from the bench because, among other things, Servaas 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 on court records.

In March, a commission judge, retired Berrien County Judge Casper Grathwohl, found there was sufficient evidence to bring Servaas before the panel.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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