Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 31, 2013

Editorial: Give Hathaway the maximum


---- — She has never offered a rationale, and her lawyer on Tuesday said her actions were "dumb" and "made no sense." No kidding.

Former Michigan Supreme Court justice Diane Hathaway on Tuesday pleaded guilty to bank fraud for concealing assets, including a debt-free Florida home, while urging a bank to let her unload a Michigan house in a short sale, claiming financial hardship.

Early estimates were that Hathaway and her husband Michael Kingsley, a trial attorney who has not been charged, could have avoided about $600,000 in debt; newer estimates put that amount at about $100,000.

So for $100,000 Hathaway got tossed from the court, lost her career and faces up to 18 months in prison.

Her attorney has asked for probation; but Hathaway should get the full 18 months. She lied to investigators, denied what she had done and has yet to make a public apology. And she was a judge on our highest court.

Michigan's Supreme Court was already one of the least-respected in the nation, and now this.