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Cooley Law Student at Center of Investigation into Michigan Judge
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Summary: A Cooley Law School student is the center of an investigation into Michigan Judge J. Cedric Simpson by the state’s Judicial Tenure Commission. 

Formal complaints were filed against 14-A District Court Judge J. Cedric Simpson on Wednesday by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, according to


The formal complaints come from an incident that happened on September 8, 2013 when one of Simpson’s interns was driving drunk. The intern got into an accident in Pittsfield Township.

To read more Michigan-related stories, click here.

The judge reportedly interefered with a police investigation later that day and with the prosecution that followed the accident.

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The tenure commission claims that Simpson misrepresented his relationship with the intern. He also misrepresented his involvement with the accident when answering questions from investigators.

Crystal Marie Vargas was the intern in question. She was also a student in one course taught by Simpson at Cooley Law School.

She got into a crash at 4:22 a.m. that day with a tow truck at Platt Road and Michigan Avenue in Pittsfield.

Simpson came to the scene of the accident after being called by Vargas, interfering with the field sobriety test being administered by Pittsfield Township Police Officer Robert Cole.

Simpson denied talking to Cole while the sobriety test was administered when asked by the commission.

Vargas was out of jail by 8 a.m. and Simpson took her to retrieve her car from impound. He paid the towing fees after her credit card was declined.

The second count from the commission claims that Simpson interfered with the prosecution of Vargas. He reportedly contacted Victor Lillich, the city attorney for Pittsfield, multiple times to speak on the behalf of Vargas.

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Simpson reportedly told Lillich to ‘sit’ on the issue until Vargas could hire an attorney. Lillich did not issue a warrant for Vargas, which cause issued with Pittsfield Township Police Department Director Matthew Harshberger.

Lillich removed himself and his firm from the case on October 21, 2013 and Vargas was charged with one count of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

The commission also claims that Simpson denied he had a personal relationship with Vargas even though the two exchanged more than 10,000 text messages and phone calls in the span of three months.

Should the complaints be found true, Simpson could be found guilty of 15 violations of the Michigan Constitution, the Michigan Court Rules and the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct.

He has 14 days to respond to the complaint filed against him.

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Formal complaint against Judge J. Cedric Simpson



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