Justice delayed: Detroit judge often shows up late - New York News

Justice delayed: Detroit district court judge often shows up late

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36th District Court Judge Cylenthia Miller  (Credit: Fox 2 News) 36th District Court Judge Cylenthia Miller (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit district court judges have it pretty good.  They work seven hours a day and get an hour for lunch.  They get nine weeks off and make nearly $140,000 a year.  So why does 36th District Court Judge Cylenthia Miller need to show up late so often or not show up at all?

It's 11:00 a.m.  A video shows people have jammed the courtroom, but the judge isn't there, and the lawyers are still getting $300 an hour.  This wasn't just a one off.  We got a hold of the judge's attendance record.  She's a truant.  If this were high school, she'd never graduate.

In 2009 she missed an extra 53 days or nearly three months of work.

In 2010 she missed an extra month and a half.  It's the same with 2011 and 2012.

So we put the peep on the judge over the last few weeks.  On February 8, a Friday, she called in sick saying she injured herself when her sister's dog pulled her in a ditch.  On February 10, the following Monday, we couldn't find her.  The next day she didn't show grieving over a loved one.

When the judge did show up, she was always late, took long lunches or left early.  Pretty
serious stuff for a judge who handles everything from murder to misdemeanors.

She showed up and hour and a half late on Wednesday.  On Thursday, she showed up two hours late.  After a rigorous hour and fifteen minutes on the bench, she cut out for lunch.  A long lunch.  A two hour and 15 minute lunch.

It was no better the next day, Friday, February 15.  She was nearly two hours late again, and she left at 2:30 in the afternoon.  Where could she be going?  The law library?  The prosecutor's office?  Nope.  She went shopping at Kroger in Grosse Pointe.  They've got everything you could want there.  Deserts and champagne, organic beef and district court judges.  Detroit needs district court judges.  And, oh my gosh, cantaloupe three for $5.00.  Order in the food court!

The following Tuesday, tuckered out from a long holiday weekend, her honor arrived nearly two hours late.

"Something should happen.  There should be repercussions if she's late every day for three weeks," said Jason Stieber, who waited two hours for Judge Miller.

"If this judge doesn't want the job or she'd rather be shopping, then resign.  I mean, this is a great job being a judge.  It's a good job, it's a stimulating job, but you got to be there," said Fox 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton.

She was late again on Monday morning.  We couldn't take it anymore.

"Court's been in session for an hour and a half and you're still [outside]," I said to her.  "Been coming every day for three weeks, you've never been on time."

She said nothing.

"It's embarrassing to us as a court, and it's embarrassing to me as the court's chief judge that I'm having this discussion with you," said Judge Kenneth King.  "I'm telling you that this matter will be dealt with."

Judge Miller's just another of a lot of judges messing up lately.  What in the world is going on?  Time to serve the people, or as great Detroit philosopher Monica Conyers once sang, "Do your job."

Judge Miller met with the chief judge on Monday.  She promised to "do better in the future".

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