LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) -There’s drama in the Michigan Supreme Court.
On Monday, Justice Richard Bernstein, who was elected in 2014, apologized to Justice Kyra Harris Bolden for comments he made about her law clerk.
Bolden, a former state lawmaker and the first Black woman to serve on the state Supreme Court, was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Her term began on Jan. 1 of this year.
Bolden hired Pete Martel, a former convicted felon, to serve as her law clerk. Martel had served 14 years in prison for robbery and shooting at police.
He was released in 2008 and obtained a degree from Wayne State University law school.
Bernstein said he was “disgusted” over Martel’s hiring, saying that Martel should not work in the state’s highest court.
Martel resigned shortly after.
On Monday, Bernstein released an official apology.
“Today, I apologized to my colleague Justice Kyra Harris Bolden in-person at the Hall of Justice and she has accepted my apology. I regret overstepping Justice Bolden’s hiring process and should not have disturbed her ability to lead her Chambers.
I would also like to apologize to Mr. Peter Martel. Mr. Martel is not an elected official and my actions invited people into his life in a way that he had not signed up for and he deserved more consideration.
I am committed to working with Justice Bolden in the coming years to advance our many shared values, including immediately working to expand opportunities in the legal field for those who have repaid their debts to society.
My day-to-day priority going forward will be to fulfill the confidence placed in me by the people of Michigan. I will not take that for granted and will focus on evaluating each case based on its merits and the laws of Michigan, as the citizens of our State expect.”
Justice Richard Bernstein