Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This judge committed a lesser offense than judges who intentionally subvert court cases, but she's going to jail for a year

Judge Hathaway did not subvert justice for citizens who appeared in her courtroom. Instead, she concealed assets in a private mortgage deal that had nothing to do with her decisions in the courtroom.

I believe her crime is far less harmful to the public, yet she is going to jail for a year. Meanwhile, judges who undermine the legal system are protected by the powerful lawyers for whom they do favors, by the culture of professional courtesy that controls the legal profession.

When will our legal system start punishing its officers for intentionally subverting the law?

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway gets year in prison for bank fraud
Khalil AlHajal
M Live
on May 28, 2013

ANN ARBOR, MI -- U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara sentenced former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway to one year and one day in prison followed by two years of supervised release for bank fraud Tuesday.

Hathaway pleaded guilty in January to hiding assets in order to convince ING Bank to agree to the short sale of her Grosse Pointe Park home, which allowed her to shed some $600,000 in underwater mortgage debt.

O'Meara appeared pained as he handed out the sentence, issuing it after a long pause and after extended praise of the arguments presented by both the defense and prosecution.

"This is hard," he said. "We're talking about a defendant that has accomplished a great deal in her lifetime and has done well and who I hope will be able to accomplish more... after all this is over."

Hathaway addressed the court in a shaky voice before O'Meara named the sentence, saying she has been ashamed, humiliated and disgraced over the crime.

"I stand before you a broken person," she said. "...I take full responsibility for my actions."

Hathaway was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $90,000, estimated to be the amount ING Bank lost in the scheme.

Her lawyer Steven Fishman in trying to convince O'Meara not to order prison time said Hathaway intended to pay the entire amount today.

"You'll be done with this and you'll be out being a valuable and successful citizen of this country very soon," O'Meara said.

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