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Judge Accepts Public Censure for ‘Imprudent’ Remarks

April 23, 1985

LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ A judge has apologized for ″inappropriate and imprudent″ remarks after his arrest in a dispute over cab fare to a Nevada brothel and dismissal of a controversial rape case, his attorney said Monday.

East Lansing District Judge Daniel Tschirhart ″formally apologizes both to the judiciary and the public for his misconduct″ and promises to refrain from such conduct again, according to papers filed with the Michigan Supreme Court by his lawyer, Thomas Bengtson.

In accepting the public censure recommended by the state Judicial Tenure Commission on March 27, Tschirhart ″formally acknowledges that several of his remarks to the media were both inappropriate and imprudent,″ Bengtson said.

The state Supreme Court is likely to accept Tschirhart’s consent by either issuing an order publicly censuring him or bringing him before the court for a personal rebuke, said Court Clerk Corbin Davis.

The court is expected to act quickly, he said.

Tschirhart was arrested April 17, 1984, in Reno and later acquitted of charges accusing him of defrauding a cab driver of his fare to a legal brothel.

In an interview with the Lansing State Journal, the judge said: ″You bet I would do it again, under the same circumstances. ... It was fun. There’s nowhere like it in the world.″

Tschirhart is up for re-election next year, which the commission noted in its report. ″To add fire to the undeniable controversy he was creating, he then, in a defiant, brazen manner, declared: ’I probably will run again in 1986 just so I can raise a little more hell,‴ it quoted the judge as saying.

The commission’s report also quoted the judge on an alleged Michigan State University gang rape case he dismissed in 1983.

″How am I supposed to have respect for those people who call me up and tell me they wish that kind of violence on my wife and daughter,″ Tschirhart was quoted as saying. ″This woman from California who’s been on my case called and said just that. I said ’Same to you, honey.‴

Tschirhart’s remarks were ″an undeniable display of his callous disregard for the necessity of avoiding the appearance of impropriety,″ the commission said.

The Code of Judicial Conduct ″requires that a judge behave as if he were always on the bench,″ it said.

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