ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A judge in the Ann Arbor area went to the scene of a two-vehicle crash and interfered while a police officer was checking the sobriety of his intern, according to a complaint filed by a judicial watchdog.
The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, known as the JTC, filed a misconduct complaint Wednesday against J. Cedric Simpson, a district court judge in Washtenaw County.
During its investigation, the commission said Simpson falsely denied having a personal relationship with intern and law student Crystal Vargas, despite roughly 10,000 text messages and phone calls between the two from August through November 2013.
“We respectfully disagree with the JTC’s allegations, and I expect Judge Simpson will be exonerated,” said Simpson’s attorney, Ken Mogill.
He declined to take questions about details in the complaint.
The commission said Vargas called Simpson after her car struck another vehicle in Pittsfield Township before dawn on Sept. 8, 2013. He arrived at the scene, identified himself as a judge and asked the officer if she just needed a ride home. Vargas was arrested after she was given a blood-alcohol test.
The judge also is accused of trying to get special treatment for Vargas through the township attorney, Victor Lillich, who eventually disqualified himself from the case.
Vargas pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while impaired.
The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether there will be a formal hearing regarding the complaint against Simpson.
Complaint against judge: https://bit.ly/1u6zd3I
Information from: The Ann Arbor News, https://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.