Advance Notice: Briefs

Lapeer judge draws misconduct complaint over money issues

By: - February 11, 2019 11:27 pm

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The commission in charge of disciplining out-of-order judges filed a misconduct complaint against a Lapeer County judge last week.

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission filed the 96-page complaint against Lapeer judge Byron Konschuh over his alleged history of depositing bad checks into a personal bank account.

Konschuh pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in 2016, which was dismissed. In 2014, he was accused of embezzling about $4,000 while he was Lapeer County prosecutor, the complaint said.

Konschuh “engaged in conduct that violated his obligations under the Michigan constitution, the Michigan Court Rules, the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct, and the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct,” wrote Lynn Helland, executive director of the Judicial Tenure Commission.

The complaint said he “persistently obtained money and benefits for himself, and obtained benefits for the staff at the prosecutor’s office, to which, as he was well aware, he and the staff were not entitled.”

As a judge, Konschuh under oath “made numerous false statements to conceal his improprieties” regarding his obtainment of that money and benefits, the complaint said.

Rick Snyder and Brian Calley at their year-end press conference, Dec. 11, 2018 | Ken Coleman

The commission is now asking the Michigan Supreme Court to appoint a special judge to weigh the evidence against Konschuh.

Former Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Konschuh to the bench in 2013.

“Byron Konschuh has decades of experience serving the residents of Lapeer County, both professionally as a prosecutor and personally through volunteering with numerous area organizations,” Snyder said at the time. “He will make an outstanding circuit court judge.”

Konschuh was elected to a six-year term in 2014. There is a Facebook group backng the judge called “People in Support of Judge Byron ‘Un-konschuh-able.'”

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Michael Gerstein
Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.