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WILLIAMS v. SIMONS

decided: November 18, 1957.

WILLIAMS, GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN, ET AL
v.
SIMONS, CHIEF JUDGE, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, ET AL.



ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE PROHIBITION AND MANDAMUS.

Warren, Black, Frankfurter, Douglas, Burton, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, Whittaker

Author: Per Curiam

[ 355 U.S. Page 50]

 It appearing that this case has become moot, the rule to show cause is discharged and the motion for leave to file petition for writ of mandamus or in the alternative prohibition and mandamus is denied.

Memorandum by MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER, in which MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN joins.

In view of the disposition the Court makes of this unusual litigation, it seems desirable to set forth the facts.

(1) Inquiry Into Municipal Officers' Wrongdoing.

Aug. 1956 -- The Attorney General of Michigan and the Prosecuting Attorney of Wayne County, Michigan, filed with the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit for Wayne County an application for a judicial investigation of criminal offenses and unlawful practices in the City of Ecorse and other governmental units in Wayne County. In re Kavanagh, Misc. No. 83258.

That court entered an order appointing Theodore R. Bohn, Circuit Judge, to conduct an inquiry pursuant to Mich. Comp. Laws, 1948, §§ 767.3 and 767.4, as amended by Mich. Pub. Acts 1949, No. 311, Mich. Pub. Acts 1951, No. 276.*fn1

[ 355 U.S. Page 51]

     Sept. 1956 -- Inquiry conducted by Judge Bohn pursuant to §§ 767.3 and 767.4.

Oct. 17, 1956 -- Warrant signed by Judge Bohn for the arrest of William Voisine, mayor of the City of Ecorse, and Albert Buday and Francis Labadie, members of the city council of Ecorse. The warrant recites that there is probable cause to believe that Voisine, Buday, Labadie, and others have conspired to obstruct justice by knowingly permitting illegal gambling to flourish in return for bribes and gratuities. A separate warrant issued, evidently on October 22d, charging Elmer Korn, also a member of the city council, with accepting bribes.

Oct. 23, 1956 -- Judge Bohn signed and transmitted to G. Mennen Williams, Governor of Michigan, findings of probable cause to believe Voisine, Labadie, and Buday guilty of misfeasance in office, and of other offenses constituting grounds for removal, and recommended that the Governor, the official empowered to do so, take steps to remove them from office. Similar findings were transmitted to the Governor concerning Elmer Korn.

(2) Criminal Proceedings.

Nov. 1956 -- Preliminary examination held by Justice of the Peace, and accused officers bound over for trial in the Circuit Court on criminal charges.

Dec. 21, 1956 -- Information filed in the Circuit Court for Wayne County against Voisine, Buday, Labadie, and others, by the Attorney General, charging a conspiracy to obstruct justice by knowingly permitting illegal gambling in return for bribes and gratuities. Arraignment set for January 15, 1957. People v. Voisine, No. 34092.

Jan. 11, 1957 -- Information filed against Korn.

-- Motions to quash filed by Voisine ...


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