Judge apologizes for jailing attorney

7:33 PM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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Ottawa Co. District Court Judge Kenneth Post

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) An Ottawa County District Court Judge says he's sorry for throwing a lawyer in jail last year during a court case. 

The apology comes as the state panel that oversees judges is trying to determine what punishment if any Judge Kenneth Post could face.

Judge Post is publicly apologizing through his lawyer about what happened in a Hudsonville court room last year.  Privately, Scott Millard's law firm hasn't heard anything. 

When asked if he's expecting a phone call from the judge, attorney Josh Blanchard said, "I don't know what to expect."

Blanchard, an associate of Millard's at Miel and Carr Law Firm, filed a complaint against the judge who held the young attorney in contempt last December.

"He's representing a client like he should and all of a sudden he's handcuffed and in jail," says Blanchard.

During an investigation, the Judicial Tenure Commission listened to an off-the-record audio tape with Judge Post saying things that surprised Blanchard.

"[Judge Post] said, 'The show is about to begin' or something to that effect.  The JTC report indicated that he was laughing at the time and that was surprising," says Blanchard.

The commission is considering several possible punishments for Post including written reprimand, suspension, or even removing him.

However, Post's attorney, Doug Van Essen, says no one is suggesting that the mistake should lead to the judge being removed from the bench. 

Van Essen released a statement saying, "[Post] has acknowledged that his interaction with Scott Millard on December 2, 2011, did not meet his own standard and has apologized."

Off camera, Van Essen told WZZM 13 that it was a legal mistake.

"I think a mistake would suggest you don't have intent to do something, his actions with Scott seemed quite intentional," says Blanchard.

Blanchard says the punishment will likely be determined by several factors including any past violations.  Blanchard says he has confidence in the commission's final decision.

Judge Post has 14 days to answer the complaint from the Judicial Tenure Commission, and then a hearing will follow.  If he disagrees with the commission's final decision, he can take the case to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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