U.P. judge suspended and censured

SAULT STE. MARIE — A judge in Chippewa County is facing suspension.

According to an order issued by the Michigan Supreme Court, Judge Elizabeth Church — who presides over the county’s district and probate courts — will be suspended for four months without pay and publicly censured.

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission recommended the penalties based on their findings of Church’s reduction and dismissal of charges — or even modification of sentences — in at least twenty criminal cases. The commission also found she had dismissed at least thirty-two tickets without holding hearings.