Joe Burke on becoming Ann Arbor's newest judge: 'This is like being traded to the Yankees'
Joe Burke, who will be sworn in as Ann Arbor's newest judge soon, used a sports metaphor Tuesday night to describe his excitement as he prepares to step into a new role.
"For me, this is like being traded to the Yankees," he said. "Unless you're a Red Sox fan, then it's like being traded to the Red Sox."
Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Burke, Washtenaw County's chief assistant prosecutor, to Ann Arbor's 15th District Court last week. Chief Judge Elizabeth Hines introduced Burke to the Ann Arbor City Council Tuesday night.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
"It's just a wonderful opportunity for me," Burke told council members. "I'm very humbled and honored to be able to serve the city that I love and where my wife and I have lived in our starter home in the 5th Ward for the last 23 years."
During the recent interview process, when asked why he wanted to be a judge, Burked said he told his interviewers he didn't want to be just any judge.
"I want to be a 15th District Court judge," he said. "Because Libby Hines, Julie Creal and Chris Easthope have put together a wonderful court with innovative programs. The street outreach program, the sobriety court, the designated domestic violence docket. I mean, these are things that other courts just aren't doing and it's made it so that it's a nationally recognized court."
Snyder chose Burke from a large pool of candidates to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Creal, who stepped down as chief judge for health reasons.
Burke began his legal career as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Washtenaw County in 1982. He then went into private practice in 1986 as a partner at Burke & Rennell PC.
In 1993, he returned to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office as the chief assistant prosecuting attorney, where he has remained since.
A graduate of Howell High School, he earned a bachelor's degree at Michigan State University and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
He is married to Marilyn Eisenbraun.
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 email newsletters.