LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. — Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan is being charged with several felonies, the Michigan Attorney General's Office announced on Thursday.
According to the affidavit, Brennan will be charged with one count of perjury, one count of tampering or destroying evidence and one count of misconduct in office, each of which is a 5-year felony. They came after an investigation by the Michigan State Police.
Brennan was suspended from her job this past summer after the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission issued a complaint against her with similar allegations. This criminal case is separate from that.
The charges stem from Brennan's divorce hearing in December 2016. During depositions for the hearing in January and February 2017, Brennan said she didn't delete any content from her iPhone after her husband's attorney filed a motion to preserve the evidence. She also stated that she bought a new cell phone because her then-husband, Don Root, and his attorney Tom Kizer, wanted the iPhone, the affidavit states.
In April 2017, Michigan State Police seized the iPhone as part of the investigation into misconduct and perjury, and after examining it, troopers found the phone had been "reset to factory settings" sometime before he received it.
"For the reasons stated herein there is probable cause to believe that Theresa Brennan committed perjury during her divorce deposition, destroyed or tampered with evidence in a pending of future case before the Livingston County Circuit Court, and used her judicial office to enable her to destroy evidence without the court signing the Ex Parte Protection Order or reassigning the case to another judge," the affidavit reads.