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Judge accused of leaving defendant ‘threatening’ voicemail recuses himself from case

Posted at 3:47 PM, Jun 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-19 15:47:31-04

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — The Ottawa County district judge who was accused of leaving a defendant a threatening voicemail has recused himself from the case.

Judge Kenneth Post is no longer presiding over the case of Phillip Mallery after Post left Mallery a voicemail when he failed to show up for a scheduled court appearance,  according to Judge Bradley Knoll.

Josh Blanchard, Mallery’s attorney, told FOX 17 that he filed a motion June 16 to disqualify Judge Post from presiding over the case because the voicemail “suggests a likelihood of bias.”   Blanchard also said he filed a request for investigation with the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

Mallery, 23, was scheduled to appear in Judge Post’s courtroom June 11 after being arrested and accused of driving an unregistered moped without a license.

“We’re waiting for you because you’re supposed to be here today… it would appear as though you’re not coming today so a bench warrant is being issued for your arrest,” the voicemail said.  “My strong suggestion is that you, when you get this message, you keep going because if I find you it will not be pleasant.   Have a good day.”

Blanchard wouldn’t say why his client never appeared in court on June 11, but acknowledged his client is no stranger to run-ins with police. Records show Mallery has a history of drunk driving and breaking and entering.

“I don’t think if somebody has made a poor decision in their past that means we shouldn’t be fair to them this time,” he said. “Here (Post) apparently made a decision based on the fact my client wasn’t in the courtroom. He didn’t give any thought to whether something bad had happened.”

It’s unclear which judge will replace Post in Mallery’s case.