Ottawa County judge's record scrutinized

Judge Kenneth Post normally presides over 58th District Court hearings in Hudsonville — but on Monday, his record as a judge was the subject of an hour-long hearing in Detroit, before Michigan's Judicial Tenure Commission.
The Holland Sentinel
Feb 4, 2013

 

Post is charged with failing to follow the law, improper demeanor to counsel and trivialization of court proceedings during a Dec. 2, 2011, case in his Hudsonville courtroom.

Court transcripts indicate that, during the arraignment of defendant Ethan Whale, Post asked if, were Whale drug tested, the results would be "clean or dirty." When Whale's attorney, Scott Millard, said his client wouldn't answer that question, Post and Millard entered an exchange over Whale's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination that ended with Post ordering Millard to jail for contempt of court.

Post then recalled Millard, at the time handcuffed and en route to the Ottawa County Jail, and had another exchange with Millard, which ended with the attorney spending a few hours in jail before an emergency 20th Circuit Court hearing resulted in Millard's release.

Paul J. Fischer, executive director of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, acts as the prosecutor in such cases and filed the formal complaint in July.

Post, in his response to the complaint, noted he's presided over thousands of cases and needed to know the defendant's drug history in order to set bail and determine what, if any, substance abuse testing or monitoring was needed. If the defendant would fail an initial drug test, Post wrote, it could cause him to violate terms of the bail bond, something the judge called a "Catch 22" situation.

Post also admitted that some of his remarks may be seemed sarcastic or demeaning to Millard, but Post "did not mean them to be." Asking a question and demanding an answer is not a violation of the Fifth Amendment, Post maintained, because he did think that if Whale had admitted to drug use it would have led to drug-related charges, but Post acknowledged it was marginally possible.

Post also stated in his response that he "should have exercised a greater degree of restraint" in his own courtroom and that holding Millard in contempt "was an abuse of his (Post's) discretion."

Fischer said Monday the commission will issue a written ruling in the near future.

— By Peg McNichol, The Holland Sentinel

Comments

jjabrahms

hmmmmmm.... where are the comments??

PeopleAreAmazing

Ok, here's one. Post abused his power. Post ought to pay the price.

MeanSmith

Time for post to see the post man

beeman

Complete abuse of power through intimidation...it is the Ottawa County way!!

rukidding

Judges and lawyers disagreeing; this is news? I love this paper, gives me a good chuckle everytime I log on. I think they should both be wet down with frigid water from a fire hose; your basic cooling off as it were.

khuck

Yeah he's real sorry!!!!!My son was in his courtroom a month ago and he asked everyone in there if they would be clean if given a drug test?!!! He needs to be fired!!!

outforjustice

This judge thinks that the judges on TV should behave like they do in a real courtroom. This guy should be removed from the been. He has behaved in an unprofessional way for at least 22 years that I can attest too. A judge can be firm and hand down strict sentences. However he cannot do it in an unprofessional deaming manner. He treats everyone who comes before him rudely and with contempt. He gives the Ottawa County Bench a huge black eye. The unfortunate part is that ALL of the other judges in Ottawa county know about it and allowed it to continue. Shame on you all!!!!!

whatajoke

Ottawa county and every other gov is corrupt....Lets not obey the real laws we will make them up as we go because we the people let it happen.. Just like was said was in court room month ago and and post asked again if they will test dirty...DID ANYONE DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT... nope.... are rights are getting takin away fast...

crazyoldman

Hopefully the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission will get his attention. Or maybe they'll just paste his photo on their new member brochures and vote him into their hall of fame.

 

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