The Michigan Supreme Court is a critical arm of Michigan’s government. Justices should act based on the law, not their own personal agendas. 

Mary Kelly is a Michigan Supreme Court Candidate and we have some questions.

Questions about Nepotism

Last year, Kelly was hired by the St. Clair County Circuit Court to serve as guardian ad litem, a lawyer who represents children in the court—but the decision to award her the $291,770 contract has raised some suspicion due to her husband, Daniel Kelly, serving as Chief Judge on the court.

Locally, there were some questions around nepotism and whether or not Mary Kelly should be in the position, given her husband’s role in the St. Clair County Court. 

“If it’s $10, or you could say it’s a hundred thousand dollars, the perception is still the same,” said County Commissioner David Rushing. “… The way it’s going to be viewed by the public, and myself — I grew up on military bases, and I keep things pretty black and white — and for lack of a better term, it didn’t pass the smell test. And that’s why I voted no.”

One person who was also seeking the position called the decision to hire Mary Kelly “a farce” and her taking the position was “immoral” and “unethical.” 

We’ve got some questions about Mary Kelly: 

  • Why did she choose to take a job where her husband is Chief Judge, knowing that it could raise questions of nepotism?
  • Is she double-dipping between her county pension and another taxpayer-funded position? 
  • Will she recuse herself from her husband’s cases, and all St. Clair County cases that appear before the Supreme Court?
  • Our biggest question: Can Michiganders trust Mary Kelly on the Michigan Supreme Court? 

A “Vindictive” Firing

Mary Kelly worked to fire a longtime public employee who refused to back her candidacy for judge. The disturbing details were outlined in a lawsuit filed by the employee.

In 2002, Mary Kelly pressured a public employee on numerous occasions both personally and through other staff members to back her candidacy for judge.

After she lost the race, she said, “That f****** [public employee is done.”

According to the court decision: “[The employee] was allegedly fired for refusing to support the campaign of his supervisor for a district court judgeship, and for refusing to try to curtail his brother’s public support of his supervisor’s opponent in the election.”

In the court opinion on the case, the judge even called the firing “misguided and vindictive.”

We’ve got some questions about Mary Beth Kelly:

  • Can we trust a Michigan Supreme Court candidate who worked to fire a longtime public employee because of politics?
  • Can we trust a Michigan Supreme Court candidate who is “misguided and vindictive”?
  • Can we trust Michigan Supreme Court Candidate Mary Kelly?