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Attorney: Judge holds grudge

12:13 PM, Dec 7, 2006   |    comments
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Livingston - A well-known Howell attorney and former Livingston County prosecutor filed a complaint Monday against Livingston County District Court Judge L. Suzanne Geddis, alleging she is retaliating against him for supporting her husband's challenger in the November judicial elections. Tom Kizer Jr. of the Kizer law firm is asking a Circuit Court judge to exercise the court's powers for "superintending control" over Geddis, whom he claims has expressed "her extreme displeasure" with anyone who challenged whether her husband should have been District Court judge. Superintending control is essentially a higher court judge telling the lower court judge to follow the law. Geddis declined to comment citing judicial ethics, which prevents her from speaking to the media, her secretary Sheila Willard said Wednesday. Kizer also declined to comment Wednesday, saying his court filing "speaks for itself." In his paperwork, Kizer alleges Geddis - whom he says is immune from suits for libel or slander for statements made on the record while acting as judge - prevented his being picked as a mediator for two divorce cases even though attorneys on those cases wanted his services. In those cases, Kizer claims Geddis said she "was not having good luck" with Kizer as a mediator and "clearly indicated to the attorneys her dissatisfaction with their selection" of mediator. He further alleges that Geddis claimed he had not done his job in a previous case, that she felt he may not complete his job in a timely manner "as a result of his age/retirement status" and that she would grant no adjournments to the attorneys if they insisted on having Kizer as their mediator. Geddis also allegedly suggested "with regard to Kizer that she was maybe a little too 'paranoid' and that something was a 'little too weird,'" Kizer alleges. Kizer claims Geddis had no problem with his serving as mediator until after he publicly opposed Assistant Prosecutor William McCririe's possible election to the bench because McCririe is married to Geddis. McCririe challenged Brighton attorney Carol Sue Reader for retiring Judge A. John Pikkarainen's seat. Reader, whose campaign literature questioned whether a husband/wife team on the same bench was appropriate, won 31,128 to 28,257. Kizer also alleges Geddis has improperly used the Drug Court program, which she created, to deride Reader, openly suggesting that Reader was "lazy" and other characteristics to discredit her before the drug court team. Kizer is asking the Circuit Court to order Geddis to give a written apology to all members of the state bar; to refer the case to the State Court Administrator's Office and to the Judicial Tenure Commission for possible action; and to reassign all domestic cases assigned to Geddis to another judge. The case has been assigned to Judge David Reader. A hearing date had not been set as of Wednesday. Contact Lisa Roose-Church at (517) 552-2846, or at lrchurch@gannett.com.

By Lisa Roose-Church, DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

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