ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Wayne County judge said Tuesday that he “lusted” after a much younger woman and carried on an affair with her while he was presiding over a case against the father of her child.
During a misconduct hearing that will help determine whether he keeps his job, Wade McCree testified that he regretted the “poor judgment” he exercised by getting involved with Geniene La’Shay Mott, 30. But he explained that he had found her too hard to resist.
Mott “surprised me and thrilled me. … I lusted after that woman. I’m in my middle 50s and she’s a double dozen years my junior,” McCree, 56, said.
The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission said McCree’s actions were irresponsible and eroded the public’s confidence, especially because he continued to handle Mott’s child support case.
“I should have transferred it immediately, and I didn’t,” he acknowledged.
It was an unflattering day for McCree, a member of a prominent Detroit family. His late father, Wade McCree Jr., was a federal judge who also argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court as solicitor general under President Jimmy Carter.
But McCree didn’t flinch as he answered questions. He spoke loudly, gestured and, without prompting, even paused to spell the last names of people mentioned during his testimony. The affair lasted from June to October last year.
“I was lonely,” McCree said. “Certain things weren’t as wonderful as I would have liked in my 25 years of marriage. … I was vulnerable but my nose was open. I knew what I was doing.”
He said he realized it was a bad relationship last fall. The judge said Mott’s behavior ranged from the “apex of euphoria” to the “abyss of near-homicidal anger.” McCree made a comparison to the 1987 movie “Fatal Attraction.”
Mott testified Monday, saying she often had sex with McCree in his courthouse office. She said she’s pregnant but declined to say whether the judge is the father.
In a different ethics case, the Michigan Supreme Court reprimanded McCree last year after he sent a shirtless photo of himself to a female court employee, an incident that earned him a nickname, “buff barrister,” in media reports.