Someone in the State Legislature needs to come up with a new law. Judges who plead guilty to leaving the scene of a personal injury accident are to be presumed guilty of drunken driving behavior and thrown off the bench.
Judges accused of hiring prostitutes need to be thrown in prison, too, in this age of human trafficking tragedies.
Such outspoken opinions mean driving in Macomb County is probably not a good idea for Yours Truly since two judges there have done exactly what's described above. The latest embarrassment to the Michigan judicial profession came Friday when Roseville Judge Catherine Steenland entered two no contest pleas at 72nd District Court in Marine City on Friday morning.
Macomb County Judge Jarod Calkins resigned after taxpayers kept him on the payroll more than two full months after he was arrested when accused of hiring prostitutes for violent sex acts.
Judge Steenland needs to now turn in her black robe, too.
She admitted in court Friday to an accident where she injured another motorist and drove away. The victim told police the good judge was driving erratically as if intoxicated when doing an exit, stage left after the crash.
Judge Steenland didn't admit to driving drunk.
She instead pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and to failing to report a traffic crash. My guess is she will get probation instead of facing any jail time. The penalty for each misdemeanor count is a 93-day jail sentence, but I'm guessing she will get away without getting fitted for an orange jumpsuit.
If you ask me, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident shouts "Guilty" to the world on the drunken driving accusation by the victim.
She should be immediately suspended from the bench if she doesn't resign by Monday morning.
Judge Calkins, or now "former" Judge Calkins, was suspended after headlines about his problem with prostitutes. Now he needs to give back all the money he was paid for a little over two months before submitting his resignation. Why do you pay a judge not to judge? I don't get it.
Charging documents from Attorney General Bill Schuette's office indicated that Calkins paid for violent sex with multiple prostitutes during an eight-month period while State Police conducted an undercover sting operation at a Macomb County motel. Calkins was caught on social media communications, offering to be a "sugar daddy" for prostitutes he wanted to hire. He was charged with four misdemeanor counts and a felony count for transporting a person for the purposes of prostitution which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, if convicted.
With all the problems in our state with human trafficking and drunken driving deaths, judges who act as Calkins and Steenland did in Macomb County should get double doses of the normal prison sentences. They were trusted to uphold our laws. Violating the public trust should come with a most severe penalty. Afterall, we're talking about a county that has 17 more public officials currently under indictment as part of a widespread public corruption scandal related to garbage and towing contracts.
State legislators should understand that sending a strong message to law-breaking judges and public officials is the only way to stop the public corruption.
Mike Killbreath is an award-winning investigative reporter and newspaper columnist who hosts The Morning Gazette Radio Show live weekdays from 8 am until 9:30 am on CCNRadio.net and he hosts The Daily Gazette Sports Weekend Show every Saturday from 10 am until noon, along with The Daily Gazette Sports Night Show weeknights at 6 o'clock.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
As I see it, Life in its very simplest form is basically the following... we are all just spinning around in space together on a big ole ball of mud… a gazillion miles from anything.
Day after day, each of us are just trying to get along and get by as safely and as comfortably in this world as best we can. Given that, you can choose between one of two courses. You can try to pull together and accept any help from people who have the means to offer it… while attempting to give them any help that you can in return, hoping that your combined efforts would allow the opportunity for everyone to not only survive but to thrive… and this has to do with whether you are talking about healthcare, education, protection from persecution, food, safety… whatever. Or it can be every man for himself... earn what you can while you can and to hell with everyone else.
After all, their survival and well being is up to them. All you expect is the freedom to be self-sufficient, to look out after yourself and your family with no interference that might impede on your ability to do so and from what might be gained from your hard work.. And, in it’s simplest form THAT IS THE TOTAL NATURE OF POLITICS. The democratic party is that of the former and the Republican party the latter. Each party uses whatever power they might gain to push society in its own direction. While there are admirable qualities and points to be made for both sides, that is the way it is.... and that is the simplest nature of our politics.
I had always believed that both sides were important. They kept us in the middle, preventing us from going too far left (what Republicans push as socialism) or too far right (what Democrats fear would be facism)... and for a long time it was a pretty good balance. Today, the vitriol, hatred and division has grown to the point where sane people on both sides are asking if there will ever be a point in time that the two sides can once again co-exist peacefully… a question that I am sure all of us have pondered and most of us have probably given up hope for. Not only have foreign countries used our competiveness to divide us against ourselves … even our elected leaders have no issue in propagating lies or even promoting policies that are often even antithetical unto themselves.… directed at different portions of their base.
Media talking heads propound hatred of the other side, and it has even now resulted in bombs being sent to those whose views oppose theirs… and the resulting blame that they are false flag attacks perpetuated against themselves, intended to gain sympathy. Without truly trying to promote either side here, let me just use one example of pushing policies, or even how naming them is totally intended just to persuade voters to empower their leaders who are the ones advancing the rhetoric. They are too often nothing more than distractions and smokescreens even when another policy comes in direct conflict with another of its party’s own policies. My youngest sister voted for Donald Trump.
At one point, I confronted her regarding her choice … Her response to me was, “but you’re pro-abortion!!” … which is absurd. No one is pro-abortion. The name implies that I am in favor of killing all babies. I rather would hope that I have empathy and understanding for someone who may have been raped or not in a position to adequately provide for the welfare of a child… and as a Christian, should I not think God would take care of a soul who missed out not being born into a terrible situation? I believe in God, why would I think that I should play God?
But, that policy was her total reason for voting Republican. Still, that same party who by law would demand that woman complete her pregnancy knowing she couldn’t provide for the child, would have laws passed to deny any federal spending go to her…to help provide food, healthcare, and education for that same child to have a chance to live a healthy, productive, happy life! Like pro-abortion, pro-life is a wrongly phrased term… The fact you are Republican because you think you are pro-life, only makes you pro-birth. Those two policies in fact conflict with each other, but both policies are put forth to attract different portions of their base, and, they have even been given names to mislead and confuse the issue… all for the sake of getting more votes!
My point here and what I would truly hope for everyone in deciding your vote on November 6th… the one and only thing I hope you would use to decide your vote is that you would actually view politics in its simplest form… as originally described above… and ask yourself the question.. Who am I and what do I really believe. Every policy, and every other reason to think anything else is only intended as a distraction and a diversion… to divide us, to gain power over, or hide from us what is really the truth.
But what would lower the vitriol and possibly save us from a future civil war? Short of changing the rules of Congress so that you must get at least 50% support on any bill from the other party…while limiting the power of Presidential proclamations… neither of which are ever going to happen … there is really only one thing that would keep myself and millions of other Americans from hating you for voting differently than us, and return this country to that which respects everyone’s political views.
If you believe in the latter of the two choices, if all you want is to depend upon yourself to provide for your family without interference or obligations to others, I am not going to hate you for wanting to be self-sufficient in that way. I would understand you and in fact admire you… although I would maybe expect that if your ocean home was hit by a hurricane… that you wouldn’t seek or accept federal funds in relieving your burden. Still, I could accept it knowing that your voting that way wasn’t the result of you listening to and deciding that Rush Limbaugh is right… and that all liberals should be hated. Likewise, I would hope you could respect me for believing that I have been lucky and blessed to have had my soul put into who I am… and that I am not one of the unfortunates seeking refuge from persecution while marching a quarter of the way around the earth to find safety and assistance whom I think we should help because I believe the former description presented.
All I ask is that you consider what I have said, and vote according to what is presented above. I could live with that… and my temperature in this whole environment would come way down…. and I think most would feel the same way.
But if your decision to vote a certain way is decided by the fact life would be easier to just get along and be supported by the rest of society without working yourself… or you believe that it is ok to enrich yourself or others around you to the detriment of other countries or other people within this country… or because someone is telling you that you are a victim of people who don’t believe or look the same as you, and are to be hated… Well, that’s not American. That’s just evil.
A Kansas group spewing hate across the Metro Flint area a week ago has left what could be a lasting impact. Callers to my radio show were angry about it last Friday when three potests were waged around Genesee County.
When reports came in that small groups had met the Wesboro Baptist Church kooks at an early morning demonstration outside Flint Southestern Academy, my reaction was disappointment that so few bothered to show up and tell them they weren't in Kansas any more and that they're message of hate wasn't welcome here.
Then the calls started. READ MORE