Whitmer makes first judicial appointments

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    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday named her first two judges to the bench.

    Gretchen Whitmer

    She tapped Kristina Robinson for the 36th District Court in the City of Detroit. Robinson fills a partial term after Judge Izetta Bright stepped down.

    “Kristina Robinson is a proven public servant who has dedicated her life to ensuring fair treatment of all individuals under the law,” Whitmer said. “I have full confidence that she will continue to ensure the scales of justice remain balanced.” 

    Robinson received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and juris doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She is currently the general counsel at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and is involved with the Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.     

    Robinson would be required to run for reelection in November 2020 in order to serve the remainder of the unexpired term ending at noon Jan. 1, 2023.  

    Whitmer also appointed Michael Olsaver to the 39th Circuit Court in Lenawee County. He takes over from Judge Margaret Noe who stepped down.

    Michael Olsaver

    “Michael Olsaver is a qualified legal professional with decades of experience on a litany of issues,” Whitmer said. “I know that he will use his experience to ensure each case is treated with the due diligence that should be afforded to them.” 

    Olsaver received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and juris doctorate from DePaul University. He is currently an attorney with the Robison, Curphey and O’Connell law firm and is involved with the City of Adrian Downtown Development Authority.     

    The appointment expires at noon on Jan. 1, 2021. If Olsaver wishes to seek a full six-year term, he would be required to run for reelection in November 2020. 

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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