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Clarke to retire from 54-A District Court

Vacancy to trigger gubernatorial appointment


WEDNESDAY, June 26 — Lansing’s 54-A District Court Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. is cutting his judicial term short and retiring from the courtroom to pursue “new business opportunities,” he said earlier this evening.

Clarke on Friday sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announcing that he plans to retire from the courtroom on Sept. 13, serving his last day on the bench on Aug. 23. Clarke, 64, has served as a district court judge in Lansing since he was appointed by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2010. He declined to elaborate further on his departure.

Whitmer, under state law, will appoint a temporary replacement ahead of Lansing’s next judicial election in 2020. At that point, the winner of the election will fill out the remainder of Clarke’s term, which expires in 2022. Sources familiar with the process suggested a replacement could arrive before Clarke leaves the bench.

Clarke is  a Thomas M. Cooley Law School graduate and worked two years as a consultant to the State Senate Committee on Judiciary and two years as associate general legal counsel for the Senate. He went on to spend more than 30 years in private practice until he was appointed judge in 2010 and subsequently elected in 2012.

Clarke is also married to Judi Brown Clarke, who previously served as the president of the Lansing City Council before she stepped down in 2017 to run an unsuccessful mayoral campaign against then-State Rep. Andy Schor.

Visit lansingcitypulse.com for continued coverage as more details become available.


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