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Former judge gets 180 days for drunk driving

Courtesy Photo Michael Mack appears in this undated photo provided by his family.

ALPENA — Former Alpena judge Michael Mack on Monday pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge incurred in spring of 2021.

Judge Lynne Buday, of Kalkaska County, sentenced Mack to 180 days in jail, with credit for eight days served. Buday delayed the remaining 172 days and Mack will not have to serve them if he complies with the terms of his 12-month probation period.

Judges commonly issue delayed sentences.

The News could not reach Mack for comment. Defense attorney Dan White, representing Mack, said Mack has maintained sobriety for nearly four months.

“He is treating and day by day is restoring his health,” White said in an email. “As he told Judge Buday, he accepts his punishment and intends to fully comply with the terms of his probation.”

Following probation requirements, Mack is receiving treatment at Alpena Sunrise Centre, where he will stay for at least 30 days, White said.

In April and May of last year, officers responded to separate complaints of Mack driving with a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. Mack was not lodged in jail after either incident but was jailed in December for failing to appear for court hearings.

Shortly after his arrest, he was released for medical treatment.

Police commonly issue appearance tickets instead of booking people into jail at the time of drunk driving arrests.

Buday has presided over Mack’s drunk driving cases since the incidents occurred.

Separate from the drunk driving charge, in November 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court replaced Mack as chief judge of the 26th Circuit Court, the 88th District Court, and the Alpena and Montmorency County probate courts.

Mack’s successor, Judge Benjamin Bolser, immediately removed Mack from the court docket, and Mack then retired.

The Michigan State Police and Michigan Attorney General’s office have said they are investigating Mack but would not disclose the nature of the investigation.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693, jriddle@thealpenanews.com or on Twitter @jriddleX.

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