Ex-convict who shot at cop appointed to position by Michigan Supreme Court justice resigns after controversy erupts


The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the writer, a retired Police Chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

LANSING, MI- After a report came out that a new justice at the Michigan Supreme Court had hired an ex-convict for a key position in her office, he decided to pull the plug and quit. The appointment of the ex-con by Justice Kyra Harris Bolden drew sharp criticism from one of her colleagues, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Bolden, who was sworn in this past week after being appointed by far-left Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, reluctantly accepted the ex-con, Peter Martel’s, resignation.

“I have accepted Pete Martel’s resignation,” said Bolden. “He did not want to be a distraction or in any way divert the court from its important work. I respect his decision and do not intend to comment further.”

Martel had been hired by Bolden as a law clerk, a position which involves researching cases and providing input on opinions. Being a former convict, Martel probably would have provided some keen insight into how the criminal mind works. Alas, Martel will not be able to avail herself of his experience.

The Detroit News reported that Martel, 48, had served 14 years in prison after he robbed a Flint-area store. Oh, and he also thought it wise to shoot at responding police officers.

Martel was released from prison and according to the AP, “changed his life.” That included obtaining a degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Bolden’s Supreme Court colleague, Justice Richard Bernstein credited Martel with turning his life around, however said serving as a law clerk for the state Supreme Court was probably not a good place to continue his redemption tour.

“I’m all about second chances,” Bernstein told the News. “But there are certain jobs you should never be allowed to have after you shoot at a police officer, and one of them is clerking for the highest court in the state.”

He continued, “I’m completely disgusted by this.”

Bolden finished third in the race for two seats on the Supreme Court during the Nov. 8 election, however she checked off some of the right boxes on the diversity checklist and Whitmer chose her to fill a vacancy. She will be Michigan’s first black female justice.

On Thursday, Bolden told WWJ radio that she believes in “restorative justice.” Oops, there’s another box…she’s also a far-left progressive.

“I don’t think you should be held to crimes for the rest of your life, especially crimes that were committed 30 years ago, and you have done everything possible to transform your life,” she said.


Clearly, if you shoot at police officers, that shouldn’t be held against you 30 years later, right?

The AP noted that both Bernstein and Bolden were nominated for the court by the Democratic Party, and had appeared in campaign ads together last fall. Bernstein coasted in his reelection bid to the state’s high court.

“I’m no longer talking to her. We don’t share the same values,” Bernstein said prior to Martel’s resignation.

However, former Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, who left the Supreme Court this week, claims Martel was one of her best students when she taught at the University of Michigan.

“He’s been open about his past and his regrets about it, and how he’s eager to be an example for others, to show them that you don’t have to be defined by your past,” McCormack said.

Whitmer was reached out to for comment, however she her office did not respond.

According to Reason, Martel admitted in a 2017 interview that he “had a bit of a shootout with the police.” Fortunately, that “bit of a shootout” didn’t end up with one of the officers being killed.

After Martel got out of prison, he earned his law degree, then found a job with the State Appellate Defender Office, and enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Michigan.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Submit a Correction
Related Posts