NO JAIL BUT NO PAY
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Julie McDonald won't get paid during her month-and-a-half suspension from her Sixth Circuit bench seat, which she just won in November, following a ruling by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. The commission handed out the ruling last month following McDonald's 10:45 a.m. traffic stop in Royal Oak September 8, where she blew a .102 on a blood alcohol test. McDonald, who was stopped for tossing her cigarette butt out the window while cruising by at 9 mph over the speed limit, told officers she had four drinks more than 12 hours earlier. Those must have been some strong drinks, because she still tested at .08 – the legal limit for driving under the influence – an hour later at the police station. McDonald, who was running unopposed for the court seat at the time, was written up for an operating while impaired (OWI), disorderly conduct, littering and no proof of insurance. She ended up pleading to careless driving, a civil infraction, in exchange for dismissal of the OWI. In handing down its suspension, the commission said McDonald has already paid over $2,000 in court costs and fines; is undergoing counseling and treatment; submitted to 12 months of probation; 40 hours of community service; random drug and alcohol testing; and must blow into a vehicle ignition interlock device twice daily, with nearly 300 negative tests thus far. Still, it's only May.