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Mack under investigation by MSP, suspended

ALPENA — Judge Michael Mack has been suspended from hearing cases and is under investigation by the Michigan State Police for unknown reasons.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday removed Mack as chief judge in Alpena and Montmorency counties and appointed Montmorency County Probate Judge Benjamin Bolser to take his place at least through the end of the year.

Bolser then suspended Mack from the circuit court docket, meaning he can’t hear cases or issue rulings, Michigan Supreme Court spokesman John Nevin said.

Mack is also being investigated by the MSP 7th District Headquarters in Gaylord for possible unethical or criminal conduct, but Lt. Derrick Carroll said the department can’t release details into the ongoing investigation, which began about two weeks ago. He gave no timeline for how long the investigation could last.

Neither Mack nor Bolser could be reached for comment on Thursday.

It is still unclear who will preside over Mack’s 26th Circuit Court bench for ongoing cases.

Nevin said he had limited information about the case, but did say the usual procedure is for the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission to review and investigate any complaints against a judge, and then make a recommendation to the seven state Supreme Court justices, who can permanently remove a judge from office.

“For a judge to be suspended from their docket, it usually has to be something serious,” Nevin said. “But I don’t know where the complaint came from or what it is at this time.”

Mack has been a judge in Alpena since being appointed in 2003 by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the probate court in Montmorency County. He has been behind the bench in the 26th Circuit Court since 2009.

A chief judge is the lead administrative officer of the circuit, probate, and district courts for the designated districts and is appointed for two years. Bolser’s appointment is only until the end of the year and then the Supreme Court will need to decide what its next move will be.

“It is right in the middle of that decision-making process now,” Nevin said.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpenanews.com.