Ex-Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway Gets 1 Year and 1 Day

Ex-Judge Diane Hathaway
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A disgraced ex-Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway, teary eyed and choked up, apologized to a federal judge just moments before he hit her with a sentence on Tuesday of 1 year and 1 day in prison and $90,000 in restitution.

“Your honor,  I stand before you a broken person,” she said, standing before U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara in Ann Arbor.  “I’m ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated and disgraced. I have no one to blame but myself.”

Assistant  U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch, who stood to her right,  pushed for a sentence that reflected the guidelines, 12 to 18 months. Defense attorney Steve Fishman argued for probation.  Hathaway’s husband, Michael Kingsley, who sat in the gallery, looked dejectedly down at the floor after the judge announced the sentence.

“We hope you accomplish a great deal more once you are by this thing,” said O’Meara.

Afterwards, Hathaway was allowed to go home. She will  report later to prison.  The sentence of more than a year allows her to get what essentially amounts to good time.  She could get out after 8 1/2 months.

Reporters, including Ross Jones of WXYZ (right), wait outside court for judge’s arrival

Hathaway, 59, who was clad in a black pant-suit on Tuesday,  pleaded guilty in January to a real estate scheme in which she transferred properties out of her name to make it look as if she had less assets, all so she could get a short sale on her Grosse Pointe Park home and get out of $600,000 she owed the bank, ING Direct.  The original mortgage was $1.4 million and the home was sold for $800,000 in the short sale.

Under the short sale,  the loss to the bank was approximately $100,000, according to the government. The government noted that she did bring $10,000 to the closing for the short sale as a closing fee, bringing the actual loss to $90,000. The judge agreed that the loss was $90,000 to the bank.

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