Former Justice Diane Hathaway Pleads Guilty

by Carrie Severino

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway pled guilty to felony bank fraud yesterday:

Hathaway stood quietly at a podium in U.S District Court in Ann Arbor this morning, acknowledging she intentionally defrauded a federally insured financial institution with the short sale of her Grosse Pointe Park home.

According to an agreement negotiated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, her punishment is limited to up to 18 months behind bars or could be as little as four-10 months if a pre-sentence report determines there was no actual financial loss. Hathaway also could receive a sentence of three-five years of supervised release, be fined up to $30,000 and pay restitution of up to $90,000, according to the agreement. She waived her right to appeal the case after sentencing.

The Michigan Supreme Court currently has four justices (a bare majority) who typically adhere to originalist principles. Most people expect Governor Snyder to pick Colleen O’Brien, a trial court judge in Oakland County, and it is also believed that she would probably adhere to those same principles. But she is not as well known in conservative legal circles as others who have been mentioned, including judge Chris Murray, Governor Snyder’s Chief Legal Counsel Mike Gadola, or the Michigan Supreme Court’s chief legal counsel, Matthew Schneider.

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