Julie Creal resigns as chief judge of Ann Arbor's 15th District Court; ill health cited
Julie Creal has resigned as chief judge of Ann Arbor's 15th District Court, three months after making the decision to go on indefinite medical leave.
Court Administrator Keith Zeisloft said it's "because of ill health" that Creal has submitted her resignation, which will become effective Jan. 12.
Creal, a graduate of Pioneer High School who holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, was appointed to the bench in March 1999.
Zeisloft said today he had no information concerning Gov. Rick Snyder's possible appointment of a new judge to serve out Creal's remaining term.
Some have speculated Snyder could leave the seat vacant to save money as Michigan continues to deal with budget woes. The state pays 100 percent of judges' salaries.
A Michigan State Court Administrative Office report released in August found 55 Michigan counties have too many judges. The report indicated that Ann Arbor’s 15th District Court had an excess of one judge position.
Zeisloft said it isn't being recommended the position be eliminated, though, because of the enhanced workload per judge resulting from the court's nationally-recognized and grant-supported problem-solving courts — such as the domestic violence court, sobriety court and street outreach court — among other factors.
Creal's docket has been covered in her absence primarily by Judge Elizabeth Hines and Judge Christopher Easthope, and to a lesser degree by retired Judge Ann Mattson and by 14B Judicial District Court Judge Charles Pope, according to Zeisloft.
Zeisloft said Magistrate Colleen Currie also has contributed to the extent that her authority as magistrate permits.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.