A former Jackson County judge accused of dismissing traffic tickets issued to his wife and court staff without just cause has pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty.
James Justin entered the pleas Tuesday before lawyers gave closing arguments in a jury trial that began a day earlier.
The ex-judge had been charged with four felony counts of misconduct in office.
Following a motion made by defense attorney Alfred Brandt, Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette decided the misdemeanor charge was more appropriate.
Willful neglect of public duty is punishable by no more than a year in jail and a fine of a $1,000 or less.
A sentencing date wasn't set.
The Michigan Supreme Court removed Justin from office last year.