I’m going to have to write this one from memory because there’s not much left on the internet about it.
Cynthia Conlon was a 13th Circuit Court family court referee from 2007 until recently. In her official position, she decided what was best for children. Hundreds of children. Thousands of children. If you had a family case in front of Conlon, she made critical decisions that impacted you and your family. Referees can do things like place a child with one parent over the other. It’s not a stretch to say that family court referees can have a drastic impact on the lives of children impacted by their court orders.
The story goes that the police busted Conlon’s then-husband Roland Woodring for possession of child sexually abusive material. During the bust, they allegedly found marijuana on the couple’s dining room table. This is back in 2007 when marijuana was straight up, definitely illegal. This also occurred while Conlon was on the bench making decisions as a 13th Circuit Court family court referee.
Not to worry, 13th Circuit Court Judge Philip Rodgers decided that Conlon couldn’t have known that there was marijuana on the dining room table, and couldn’t have known about the other stuff. Despite it all, Judge Rodgers thought she had the good judgment to profoundly impact the lives of children in Grand Traverse County for another decade. She stayed on the bench and continued to rule on family law cases in the 13th Circuit Court until her resignation at the end of 2016. She is now in private practice.
A court magistrate serves at the appointment of the court judges that are in charge of her. In other words, Judge Rodgers could have decided that, her marijuana or not, that it’d be best if people whose husbands aren’t caught with drugs and child pornography are the ones who make the decisions that impact the children who have no choice but to be under the jurisdiction of the 13th Circuit Court. But he didn’t do that.
And then the Dennis Mikko thing went down on Rodgers’ watch shortly after that.
One of Conlon’s family court rulings: