Michigan Justice Diane Hathaway Resigns After Agency Accused Her Of “Blatant and Brazen Violations”

HathawayMichigan Supreme Court Justice (and former prosecutor) Diane Hathaway has resigned from the state’s highest court after a judicial agency accused her of “blatant and brazen violations” of judicial ethics that include allegations of bank fraud, tax fraud, money laundering and lying to investigators. The alleged facts are quite shocking and lead to the question of why Hathaway has not been charged criminally. In 2008, Hathaway launched a successful Democratic campaign to unseat conservative Chief Justice of the Court, Cliff Taylor. Her heavily negative campaign accused Taylor of failing asleep on the bench and declared “If you see justice in the name, he really belongs in the hall of shame.”

Federal prosecutors have been looking into Hathaway’s alleged effort to hide income and wealth to avoid a $600,000 mortgage debt. She is also accused for engineered a very shady short sale on a $1.5 million lakefront home.

The unprecedented action against Hathaway was taken after an investigation into the dealing of herself and her husband, attorney Michael Kingsley. Hathaway is accused of claiming to a bank in 2010 she was retiring — and would lose her $164,610 annual salary. In this way, Hathaway allegedly claims financial hardship to dodge the debt to ING Direct on her home. However, hardship is hard to make out with massive assets so investigators say that she and her husband transferred two homes to Kingsley’s children and Hathaway gave a third stepchild $195,000 cash to buy another home. Yes, you guessed it, she then moved into the home. Their prior home was transferred to Kingsley’s daughter on a short sale and then got it back in an exchange for $10.

There is a federal effort to seize the home as part of a civil forfeiture process. This is particularly ironic since Hathaway served as a Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor, 1987-1993, including service as Chief of the Drug Forfeiture Division.

Hathaway’s background including attendance at the Henry Ford Hospital School of Radiological Technology, 1972-74 and then attending Wayne State University, 1980-81. She received a BS in Health from Madonna College. She then received a law degree from the Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law) in 1987.

Source: Detroit News

39 thoughts on “Michigan Justice Diane Hathaway Resigns After Agency Accused Her Of “Blatant and Brazen Violations”

  1. We have an ongoing debate here in Wi. regarding election v appointment of Supreme Court justices. We have elections, and they have gotten incredibly nasty of late. I still believe that elections are better but that is chipped away w/ stories like this. However, there are similar scandals in states that use appointments. It’s getting tougher and tougher to get honorable attorneys to want these judgeships. That is the core of the problem.

  2. She was/is our only Democratic justice… We are now all Tea-Party Republican all the time. They had an awesome Lame Duck session. We are now an ‘at will employment’ state. Our female representatives were not allowed to speak for a few days because they said the word “vagina.” The Kwame Kilpatric trial is still going-on. Wayne County Commissioner is in trouble. And, of course, my representative quit before the end of his term when his re-election signatures were found to be bogus. We hate Teachers and Firefights, and can’t keep a Police Chief in Detroit. All is privatized and we have “emergency managers” appointed over elected officials. And for some reason, my car registration can no longer be renewed online. Let us not look into the vast pollution of the land. Of course I have my concealed-carry license, so I guess all is as it should be? Are we still citizens?!

  3. This reminds me of former Colorado Chief Federal judge Edward Nottingham. He resigned after the 10th Circuit reported that he had asked a prostitute to lie to investigators about their relationship and been calling multiple prostitutes from his court issued cell phone. By resigning the investigation came to an end. Someone how kept his law license and has a current website. It shows that he was formerly chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association!

    As you know purchase of prostitution services is a crime. Nottingham was identified as a customer of the Denver Players brothel but no customers were prosecuted there, maybe Nottingham’s involvement protected the other customers. The feds prosecuted the owner manager for income tax violation but sealed the records of the credit cards that were charged by the Denver Players.

    I am absolutely totally convinced that Nottingham committed the crimes of witness intimidation 18 USC 1512, witness retaliation 18 USC 1513, deprivation of rights under color of law 18 USC 242, and conspiracy to deprive rights under color of law 18 USC 241 in his dealings with me and my husband. I complained to the U.S. Attorney in Colorado several times about Nottingham but they claim to have no record of my complaints and communications. Nottingham ordered that I should be imprisoned without a bail hearing, evidentiary hearing, criminal complaint etc. He made multiple explicit threats to my husband and I that we would be imprisoned if we pursued our legal rights in other courts and if we didn’t file documents that Nottingham dictated to us. He dismissed our 02-1950 complaint without making findings of fact or issuing an opinion. He damaged our property by issuing a judgment that we should have to pay over $100 K in attorney fee shifting with no evidentiary hearing, no Rule 11(c)(6) orders and violated Rule 54(d)(2)(A) by ordering attorney fee shifting without motions.

    I want to file a complaint under the Victims Rights Act as is allowed when there is no prosecution underway. However, the 10th Circuit has ordered that any documents filed by me or by an attorney on my behalf should be returned. This violates Rule (5)(d)(4), which requires clerks to file papers regardless of local practices.

  4. Bron: LOL! My prediction is no prison time. There is justice for the masses, and then justice for the rich and powerful.

  5. Nick, we have a mixed system. The Gov appoints them the first time & then they stand for election. Despite efforts by the wingnuts we have accidentally remained relatively crackpot free on the bench. But its only a matter of time. Since so few people even bother to vote in these elections and fewer still bother to learn anything at all about the candidate these elections are ripe for the sort of crackpot take over that has happened in other places.

    There is no right way or wrong way to select justices as each has its own risks and benefits. Until we can legislate intelligence and morality these things will happen. You just have to hope they don’t do too much damage before they get stopped.

  6. Later Nick:
    One of my favorite quotes (wish I knew who to credit) “Justice may be blind but she sure can smell money!”

  7. One problem w judicial elections is that the judges don’t state how they will vote and the attorney misconduct complaints are secret so that the public info about them is so limited that it is almost impossible to know anything meaningful about them. In Wisconsin the judicial elections seemed to degenerate into Republican v. Democrat and the issue seemed about public pensions only.

  8. Frankly, In Wi. there is a good history of people voting. We vote, but often it’s Tweeedle Dee or Tweedle Dum. I agree w/ you there is no “right way.” And I love your quote about the “smell of money.” I’ll add that to my repertoire.

  9. Mulberry, and to think Michigan was one of two places I would live if leaving Wisconsin. Do they still, at least, know how to drive over there? That i liked.

  10. The fact that a justice was reuired to resign for real estate fraud in the court is surprising. In California, real estate fraud by judges has been a common feature of the courts for over a decade.
    The Human Rights Alert (NGO) submission to the United Nations focused on two issues:

    Real estate fraud in the courts
    Large-scale false imprisonment.
    The submission was later incorporated in the offical United Nations report with a note pertaining to “corruption of the courts and the legal profession”.
    [1] 10-10-01 United Nations Human Rights Council Records for 2010 Review (UPR) of Human Rights in the United States, where Human Rights Alert (NGO) submission was incorporated with a note referring to “corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California.”http://www.scribd.com/doc/38566837/

  11. @josephsdream2012

    Do you know anything about getting UN review for a claim? The reason that I am asking is that DOJ and Judge John D. Bates are saying that I can’t get compensation for being imprisoned by DOJ for 5 months without a bail hearing, a criminal charge, or an evidentiary hearing. They are saying that I can’t get compensation under Bivens because the 10th Circuit issued an order saying that the clerks should return anything I file or that is filed by an attorney on my behalf and that is where most of the events happened and defendants are located. They are saying that I can’t get compensation under the Privacy Act. I found a UN website saying that when the US ratified the UN Covenant it had an “understanding” that
    “(2) That the United States understands the right to compensation referred to in articles 9 (5) and 14 (6) to require the provision of effective and enforceable mechanisms by which a victim of an unlawful arrest or detention or a miscarriage of justice may seek and, where justified, obtain compensation from either the responsible individual or the appropriate governmental entity. Entitlement to compensation may be subject to the reasonable requirements of domestic law.

    DOJ has already filed in Federal Court that I was imprisoned without a criminal charge for what I filed in federal court so that is a violation of the UN Covenant which only allows imprisonment for crimes recognized by international law. Also, DOJ has admitted that it doesn’t have a record of its statutory authority for imprisoning me and the Nondetention Act, 18 USC section 4001, requires DOJ to have a statutory basis for imprisonment.

    I wish I had a lawyer.

  12. This is the upside of the bad economy. It’s like a lake being drained and exposing the crud on the bottom that is otherwise hidden from sight. Individuals who complain about being victims of judicial misconduct have been dismissed as being somehow defective human beings but judge’s financial crimes aren’t dismissed so that makes complaints that judges take bribes to dismiss cases more likely to be taken seriously.

  13. Look for all of Hathaway’s short coming…. She was or is hell on wheels….. She unseated Cliff Taylor…. A charlatan himself….. The unfortunately gives the jackass Snyder the ability to appoint another justice…… Now the balance will be 5 to 2…… Damn her…..

  14. You can short sale your house to your children?!?! How and why did the bank or financial institution approve this? Is it legal to short sale your house to your children without hiding your assests or income? If so, then I need to talk to a realtor and my mortgage company (since I currently owe more on a couple of properties, than what they are worth)! Can I short sale my properties to my brother, and then make some type of deal with him so that he can, in turn, give the properties back to me? Lol. Now I am starting sound like the Judge. Lol!

  15. Anoynmous Yours — You refer to her transgressions ( $600k worth of fraud) as merely “short comings” . .boy do you Democrats set a low bar! Perhaps Detroit’s beloved ex-Mayor KK is simply misunderstood.

  16. In Idaho we just had a case where a man who owned a bar was sentenced to several years for tax evasion. He ran a gambling operation in his bar, syphoned off the profits to mexico where he developed some commercial property.

    Over the past few years we have had a man named Timothy Geithner (perhaps you know him as Treasury Secretary), he “forget” to pay some income taxes. His punishment? become secretary of treasury. Here is a prominent person who manages their property in a unique way to benefit themselves and what will be her punishment? Perhaps she can be appointed to a Federal court?

    I thought justice was blind? Do we wonder why there is so much distrust in our country? You tea baggers? you liberal scum? we call each other names and meanwhile the leaders of both sides of the aisle take us for fools.

  17. How can there be objectivity when you have judges running in elections as Democrats or Republicans? This should be a non-partisan position.

  18. Darren, I agree. However, in Wi. it is “nonpartisan” elections and there are always a Dem and Rep only just not in their title. It’s the same way in KC where I formerly lived. Of course, better than Chicago where there is only one party!

  19. Bill,

    You’re right…. I cannot defend her actions, she should have known better. What is interesting so far is no one has mentioned her husbands Floridia home in this mess…..


    Right you are… It’s very sad indeed… If you’ll recall a recent case mespo cited…. The sct is for all intensive purposes a corporate governance board….


    I agree with you…. What is interesting is they are nominated by the party….. And run Nonpartisan ….. A screwy concept….. I believe this came about in 1963 or so…..

  20. ay,
    it is scary to try to understand the mentality of this judge and how did she expect to get away with these crimes? I understand a need for money, but this is like sticking up a gas station. I am going to retire, but then I don’t!?

  21. Lock her up in Quantico, take her clothes and wake her up every hour to keep her from killing herself. American justice for an American judge who is a thief. This is America, give her the Bradley Manning torture.

  22. It is of course only the tip of the iceberg:
    What did the experts say?
    The United States

    * “…it’s difficult to find a fraud of this size on the U.S. court system in U.S. history… where you have literally tens of thousands of fraudulent documents filed in tens of thousands of cases.” Raymond Brescia, a visiting professor at Yale Law School

    * “Foreclosure fraud: The homeowner nightmares continue”CNN (April 7, 2011)

    * ¨About 3 million homes have been repossessed since the housing boom ended in 2006… That number could balloon to about 6 million by 2013…¨ Bloomberg (January 2011)

    * “…a system in which only the little people have to obey the law, while the rich, and bankers especially, can cheat and defraud without consequences.”UProf Paul Krugman, MIT (2011)

    Los Angeles County, California

    * “Los Angeles County got the best courts that money could buy”. KNBC (October 16, 2008)

    * “Innocent people remain in prison” LAPD Blue Ribbon Review Panel Report (2006)

    * Los Angeles County is “the epicenter of the epidemic of real estate and mortgage fraud.” FBI (2004)

    * “…judges tried and sentenced a staggering number of people for crimes they did not commit.” Prof David Burcham, Loyola Law School, LA (2000)

    * “This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states… and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted.” Prof Erwin Chemerinksy, Irvine Law School (2000)

  23. josephsdream2012 1, January 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    It is of course only the tip of the iceberg:
    What did the experts say?
    The United States

    * “…it’s difficult to find a fraud of this size on the U.S. court system in U.S. history
    Good point.

    There does seem to be a cultural disease developing, which manifests as sociopathology or worse, psychopathology.

    As a society we forgot the danger that denial caries along with it, and we now see it making incursions everywhere, like the cases you cited.

    Here is another case concerning official play pretend.

    It comes from North Carolina, the state that passed a law forbidding sea level rise more than 8″ in any official state document.

    Now, they have transformed oil into a renewable resource:

    Meet John Skvarla, new secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR, to tarheels). To cut to the chase, here’s your takeaway idea: maybe oil is a renewable resource. And he doesn’t mean in the wait-45-million-years-and-we’ll-get-more sense.

    “The Russians for instance have always drilled oil as if it’s a renewable resource,” says Skvarla. “And so far they haven’t been proven wrong.

    “There’s a lot of different scientific opinion on that.”

    Yep. There’s just TONS of scientists out there figuring that maybe oil is like those trick cups Barbies used to drink from, where you tilt them and the stuff vanishes, and then it magically fills back up when you set it down. TONS of scientists.

    Except oops, actually not.

    (Scientific American). The judge in this case was obviously in a form of denial that allowed play pretend fantasy to take over her cognition, as did the government official in NC.

  24. And more to the point:
    [1] 12-06-08 Courts and Judges as racketeering enterprises under RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) – key element in the current financial crisis

    [2] Bribing of state and US judges by Bank of America must be serious concern. …

    Joseph Zernik, PhD
    Human Rights Alert (NGO)

  25. well what I don’t understand is why the various state attorney regulation counsels get complaints of crimes, fraud etc. and then do nothing with them.

  26. josephsdream2012 1, January 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    And more to the point:
    [1] 12-06-08 Courts and Judges as racketeering enterprises under RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) – key element in the current financial crisis

    [2] Bribing of state and US judges by Bank of America must be serious concern. …

    Joseph Zernik, PhD
    Human Rights Alert (NGO)
    Of course those are legal conclusions.

    However, the LAPD was held to be a criminal enterprise by a federal judge who ordered their takeover by the DOJ to clean them up.

    When I mentioned that here the first time it caused a stir until I provided clear and convincing evidence with a copy of the court’s opinion.

    If you know what I mean.

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