DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit judge might not think there’s any “shame in his game,” but the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission says there’s definitely shame in his courtroom.
The commission issued a formal complaint against Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wade H. McCree earlier this month on allegations that he had an affair with Genine Le’Shay Mott — whose ex-husband Robert King was involved in a child custody case pending in his courtroom.
In a 38-page response made public Thursday, McCree admitted to discussing Mott’s ex’s case outside of the courtroom, as well as carrying on a sexual relationship with her.
— View a copy of the complaint response — NOTE: This document is unedited and does contain some potentially offensive content –
McCree, who was suspended without pay in February, said that he became involved in a sexual relationship with Mott, but only after King had pleaded guilty and been placed on a delayed sentence.
“He made the unfortunate decision to engage in a sexual relationship with Ms. Mott and also admits that on a few occasions, the relationship took place in his chambers,” McCree’s response read.
McCree insists, however, that his relationship with Mott never interfered with administration of justice. He said Mott “made a number of ‘suggestions’ in her text messages, some of which involved requiring Mr. King to pay more than he was obligated to pay.” McCree said he informed Mott that he could not order King to pay more or any quicker than the order required.
McCree said he sent Mott several text messages, but none of the messages suggesed that she “called the shots” regarding King’s case. “To the contrary, the text messages demonstrate that Judge McCree told Ms. Mott that he could not do what she wanted him to do,” his response read.
McCree said any decision he made in King’s case was “the same decision that he has made in any of the hundreds (if not thousands) of felony non-support cases over which he has presided.”
McCree also admitted to sending Mott text messages from the bench, but insists they “were not sent when his court was in session or while he was on the record.” Some of those messages were sexual in nature, including one in which McCree allegedly said “Oh yeah, I text from the bench. After last nite, its all I can do not 2 **** off ‘under’ the bench:-).”
McCree said “he obviously regrets” sending the sexual messages, but “further states that the overwhelming majority of his text messages with Ms. Mott were not of a similar nature.”
Messages from McCree to Mott often included derogatory references to defendants, litigants or witnessed appearing before him. In one message, McCree wrote, “C’mon, U’r talking about the ‘docket from hell’, filled w/tatted up, overweight, half-ass English speaking, gap tooth skank hoes … and then you walk in.”
In response to the “docket from hell” text, McCree said he sent the message “in an effort to flatter Ms. Mott.” He said the text “was not intended to demean any person who had appeared in his courtroom.”
Although Mott claims she informed McCree she was pregnant with his child on Nov. 1, McCree said Mott only told him she was pregnant after he tried to break off their relationship. McCree said he estimates their conversation on the subject took place on Oct. 31.
McCree said he stayed in contact with Mott through Nov. 2012, but any communication that occurred with Mott after Oct. 31 2012 was “made for purposes of resolving issues relating to Ms. Mott’s claimed pregnancy and Ms. Mott’s intentions regarding the same.”
McCree denied he ever asked Mott to keep their relaitionship quiet in light of the investigations. “Although Judge McCree may have mentioned the King case and the pending JTC investigation when he asked Ms. Mott for discretion regarding their relationship, he obviously made these requests because he was concerned about his wife and family discovering the relationship.”
In the end, McCree said he regrets not transfering King’s case earlier than he did, saying “his failure to recuse himself from participating in the King case after he began his relationship with Ms. Mott constituted misconduct in the office.”
McCree said he “accpets responsibilty for his behavior and thinks that he should be sanctioned for his failure to transfer the King case.” However, McCree dennies that his conduct “had a detrimental impact of the administration of the court.” He said his relationship with Mott “did not constitute obstruction of justice as the relationship did not impact any of his decisions” in King’s case.
One more thing McCree discussed in his response was the now-infamous shirtless photo he sent to a courtroom deputy, something he described as a “significant event” in his life. In his response, McCree denied the characterization that the photograph was “nude,” saying the image “was no more ‘nude’ than the photos of Olympic swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.”
McCree said he only sent the photograph “at the deputy’s request or after he and the deputy discussed the image.” McCree claims “the deputy attested to the fact that she then retained the image as inspiration to motivate her to improve her workouts and eating habits.”