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Hearing officer says Detroit Judge Brenda Sanders is mentally ill, unfit to stay on bench


DETROIT — A Detroit judge has been declared mentally unfit after a three-day hearing about her ability to remain in office.

The conclusion about Brenda Sanders was made Tuesday by a retired judge who heard evidence presented by a watchdog agency, the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

Sanders was on medical leave for months at 36th District Court before the Michigan Supreme Court suspended her without pay in September. Investigators say she's unable to do her job because of paranoid delusions.

Retired Judge Michael Sapala says that Sanders has a mental disability that prevents her from being a judge. Her lawyer suddenly announced Sanders' retirement during the December hearing, but it's unclear if she notified the governor.

The misconduct case will eventually be sent to the Michigan Supreme Court for action.

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