Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
June 3, 2020
Contact: press@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today appointed Breeda K. O’Leary to the 29th District Court of the City of Wayne and Brian C. Hartwell to the 43rd District Court of the City of Hazel Park.

“Breeda and Brian are well-respected within the legal community and will be bringing their extensive experiences to the bench,” Whitmer said. “I’m confident that they will both uphold a standard of excellence while performing their duties for the citizens of Michigan in the 29th and 43rd districts.”

Breeda K. O’Leary currently serves as an attorney with Fausone Bohn, LLP. In her practice, she has served as a city attorney for the City of Wayne, assistant city attorney for the City of Westland, and as a prosecutor in the 29th and 18th District Courts. O’Leary’s practice also includes civil matters and probate and estate planning. During her time as an attorney, O’Leary has provided pro-bono assistance to local senior citizens, participated in training for the 29th District Court's Regional Behavioral Mental Health Court Program and participated in the 18th District Court Sobriety Court Program.

O’Leary is an advisory board member of the Families Against Narcotics (FAN) Northwest Wayne Chapter, a member of the Wayne 100 Club, vice president of Wayne Main Street, and a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University’s James Madison College and a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Breeda lives in Wayne with her husband Jason and their two daughters.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the citizens in my hometown.” O’Leary said. “A district court judge has a unique opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the community. As judge of the 29th District Court, I will ensure that all individuals are heard and treated with respect.

This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021, after Judge Laura R. Mack stepped down effective March 1, 2020. O’Leary is running in this upcoming election in order to fulfill the remainder of Mack’s term expiring January 1, 2025.

Brian C. Hartwell currently serves as the mayor of the City of Madison Heights and deputy county treasurer for community outreach and communications for Oakland County. He is also a private practice attorney handling a range of issues including housing discrimination, probate estate administration, misdemeanor criminal defense, and civil litigation. Hartwell is the founder of a pro-bono clinic at the Madison Heights Senior Center where he assists low-income seniors with their legal matters. He previously served as a litigator with Muller, Muller, Richmond, Harms & Myers, P.C. and as a city councilman with the City of Madison Heights.

Hartwell is a member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Chinese Americans, and the Michigan Association of Mayors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western Michigan University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Brian lives in Madison Heights with his wife Lingyu.

“I am humbled by this opportunity to serve my beloved hometown and neighboring communities as a district court judge.” Hartwell said. “Like the employees of the court, I am devoted to serving the public fairly and compassionately. My experience as mayor taught me the necessary humility to lead with kindness and the conviction to make difficult choices. The people and attorneys who use the court have a partner in the administration of justice.”

This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021, after Judge Charles G. Goedert stepped down effective March 16, 2020. Hartwell is running in this upcoming election to serve a full six-year term.

Judicial appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

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