A Hamburg Township man has admitted to placing derogatory signs about a district court judge on the morning of the Aug. 8 primary election.
The red, white and blue, 20-by-30-inch signs said "Anyone but Brennan.''
In the primary race, 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan easily outdistanced challengers Jay Drick and Christina Heikkinen, who are Howell attorneys. Brennan will face Drick in the Nov. 7 general election.
Casey Smith, an executive at a small local company, says he put up the signs because he had a negative courtroom experience with Brennan and believes she does not have the right temperament for the position. There was nothing illegal about the signs, but they caused a stir among local politicians, who speculated on who the instigator might be.
Some assumed, incorrectly, that Drick was the originator, because he launched a very aggressive campaign against Brennan, accusing her of being too liberal for conservative Republican Livingston County. Drick denied knowing anything about the signs.
Brennan has not commented on the signs.
Smith, who said he had the signs professionally made, said he is stepping forward with the admission now because he did not want people erroneously blaming Drick. He said he does not know Drick and has never met him, something Drick confirms. Although he concedes he is a registered Republican, Smith said the issue was not about politics. "It's a nonpartisan battle, and people should look at it as whether that person will make a good judge,'' Smith said.
"The case is closed,'' Drick said, adding that Smith's action involves "a free exercise of his constitutional rights.''
While I agree with Casey Smith, it wasn't the best use of tactics. That said, I'm glad he came forward with this, and I hope he expands on Brennan's courtroom demeanor.