I appreciate all the support from every corner of the county after the developments of last week. I have been asked to answer the question as to why voters voted for me and why they should continue to support and vote for me.
In the words of former Michigan Supreme Court Judge Robert Young, I am the perfect judge because I am bright and I have a heart.
The local press has reported that I fulfill the duties of the office with workmanlike efficiency, fairness and dedication to protecting public safety.
I was recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce and the nominating petition included the comment that they’ve never seen anyone work so hard on so many fronts to help the community, that I am not just a name on a board but someone who is actively involved and truly cares.
My passion for family and community makes me uniquely qualified to meet any challenges facing a circuit court judge.
I’m on the job and do my job with fairness, impartiality, energy, compassion, sense of justice and efficiency.
In contrast to my opponent, Mr. Hodges, I tried all the most complex and challenging cases confronting our county during my career as prosecutor and received awards recognizing these efforts. For the last three and a half years, he has essentially been an administrator as the Friend of the Court.
I’ve seen issues in our community and sought resources to address them. I was a catalyst to establish the Domestic Violence Coalition, Child Advocacy Center, Families Against Narcotics, The Hundred Club and others. Mr. Hodges has no such record.
I appreciate the continued support of the voters, they elected me prosecutor in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and judge in 2014 in the face of adversity.
Regarding the Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) and that adversity, the JTC has recently issued a recommendation. I was notified, surprisingly through the media who apparently had the recommendation before it was posted on the JTC website. The recommendation is contrary to the report and recommendation of the Special Master, the Hon. William J. Caprathe, who was appointed to hear my case by the Supreme Court.
Judge Caprathe sat as an impartial and unbiased jurist for months of trial, heard testimony from 39 witnesses, covering events that spanned decades, weighed their credibility in light of the substantial passage of time, and reviewed over 350 exhibits.
He applied due process, made findings of fact and concluded that there was no law or regulation in effect that was contrary to my handling of funds I am alleged to have embezzled while in the prosecutor’s office.
He further concluded that the prosecutor’s office provided the services at that time and the prosecutor’s office received the benefits. Judge Caprathe’s findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the case can be reviewed on the Judicial Tenure Commission’ website.
I am looking forward to resolving this issue once and for all before the Michigan Supreme Court. The obvious issue involving Mr. Hodges is that he was an assistant prosecutor of mine while we provided some of these services and funds were being handled and the benefits being bestowed upon the prosecutor’s office.
He has acknowledged participation in the raising and expenditure of some these funds, including for items like a dishwasher and water cooler, for the benefit of the office, police officers, witnesses and victims.
I have consistently maintained that this is not sanctionable behavior but one would think he would be subject to the same scrutiny if elected.
That would leave the voters to re-elect the most qualified, dedicated, experienced, candidate and that would be Byron Konschuh.
Thank you all for your continued support!
—Judge Byron Konschuh