Whatever the merits of Jack Lessenberry's criticisms of courts and judges generally, his bit on the Judicial Tenure Commission in the Chrzanowski matter is off base ("Sleazy judges vs. sex police," MT, Jan. 31-Feb 6). The Commission has not decided she does not deserve any punishment. The hearing officer appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court has recommended no punishment. The Commission has yet to consider the case. Its staff is opposed to the recommendation. The jury is still out. —Avern Cohn, Detroit
Jack Lessenberry responds: U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn is of course absolutely right; and I am embarrassed and apologize. I wrote "The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission decided she didn't deserve any punishment at all." What I meant to write was the "Tenure Commission's special master decided she didn't deserve any punishment," etc. As of this writing it has not been decided what will happen to Chrzanowski, and I thank Judge Cohn for setting the record, and me, straight.
I clerked for the Honorable Alice L. Gilbert for three-and-a-half years. Your rant against her is unfounded and wholly undeserved. She is a spearhead for women's rights — as the first Circuit Judge in Michigan, as a single mother of three and as a brilliant jurist. Yes, she does take 20 days off in January. Why has no one called the Court Administrator's Office to find out how many days off any of the male judges take? For some, it is just as many, if not more. She takes into consideration everyone's time constraints — attorneys who have two or more matters in court know that they can arrive late to Judge Gilbert, first taking care of matters before a male judge who may hold them in contempt for arriving five minutes late. She also allows the jury panel to set the schedule, sometimes staying until 9 p.m., instead of wasting another day in deliberations. She is a staunch animal rights advocate, having written the only opinions upheld by the Supreme Court, and now provide a basis for the protection of those without representation. Please do not do any investigation of your own. Feel free to piggy-back on the press release fodder found in other newspapers. —Christopher R. Connely, Esq., Litig8av8@aol.com, Waterford
Jack Lessenberry responds: I am glad Alice Gilbert likes puppies, and I even am willing to believe that she once bought young Connely Esq.(!) a Coke once. Nevertheless his letter helps illustrates what's wrong with the legal profession generally; a whine that "everybody else does it," by way of justification (they don't) followed by a charge I copied "press releases" about her bad behavior. Sorry pal; I have in my hands copies of the entire correspondence between your pathetically seedy jurist and the chief judge (who did not give them to me.) Incidentally, those with long memories may recall the low and nasty gutter politics Judge Alice indulged in during the 1992 GOP congressional primary. To the voters' credit, she finished a bad third. Hopefully they will soon knock her off the bench.
Wells — enough!
Editor’s note: A version of this letter originally appeared on the Enviro-Mich listserv. It is being reprinted with the permission of the author.
The Metro Times has a brief piece on the Romulus hazardous-waste well fight ("Wells of frustration, MT, Jan 24-30). The article notes that the well is likely to be approved by DEQ Director Russ Harding, over community objections and despite the Site Review Board’s recommendation of denial. MEC’s Dave Dempsey is quoted saying "It’s the most dramatic example of the overall change, which has been to muzzle the public and sequester decision making behind Harding’s closed doors."
But it is not just the hundreds of Romulus residents that oppose this well that stand to lose if it is sited. All Michigan residents will be affected, as Michigan becomes the dumping ground of the Midwest. Toronto is already sending us its trash and sewage sludge. Will Michigan be importing Toronto’s hazardous waste next? —Mary Beth Doyle, Ann Arbor
I'm an avid reader of the Metro Times and really enjoy the reviews section, especially the video game reviews. They are written very intelligently and are highly readable. Jon M. Gibson is very insightful into what makes a game good. I highly respect his opinion and have based my purchases on his recommendations. I haven't been disappointed yet —Kristine Cooper, Wixom