Diane Hathaway makes ‘bold’ decision in office
A complaint was recently filed against Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway regarding her Florida residence. Federal authorities are investigating the claim that Hathaway and her husband Michael Kingsley transferred ownership of their home in Windermere, Fla. to their daughter just before a short sale of their home in Michigan. Therefore, Hathaway is accused of defrauding a bank and hiding assets in order to justify a short sale.
The complaint stated that just before Hathaway and her husband sent a letter of hardship to ING Bank, they transferred their Florida home to their daughter who transferred it back immediately following the short sale. The short sale allowed for $600,000 of mortgage debt on their $1.5 million dollar home in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. to be erased.
Hathaway and her husband have not been charged criminally. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also noted that criminal forfeiture complaints do not always lead to criminal charges.
Hathaway verbalized to her co-workers, documented in an email by Michigan Supreme Court Spokeswoman Marcia McBrien, that any rumors of her resignation were false.
Eastern Michigan University speech and communications professor Michael Marion said he believes this is a good move on Hathaway’s part.
“It’s a bold choice. [Her choice not to resign] speaks to her confidence. We can’t start a trial before a trial starts, but it’s a strategic move,” Marion said. “The jury would have some sort of bias knowing that she is confident enough not to resign. It is overall just a bold, strategic move.”
In Nov. 2008, Hathaway was elected to an eight-year position on the Michigan Supreme Court, which began in 2009, and before that she was a judge for the Wayne County Circuit Court for 16 years.