TRAVERSE CITY -- Family Court Judge David Stowe's long-running personal relationship with a one-time employee recently earned him a wrist slap from a state agency.
Now, Stowe is tying the knot with Cynthia Curry, a woman he hired, and with whom he had a relationship while presiding over her divorce case.
Stowe, judge of Grand Traverse County's probate and family courts, and Curry applied for a marriage license at the county Clerk's office on Dec. 26.
It will be the second marriage for Stowe, 57, and the fifth for Curry, 47. They have 33 days to wed and validate the license.
Their relationship began while Curry worked for Stowe in the family court, where he oversaw child custody matters in her divorce case. Stowe subsequently fired, then paid a $69,000 settlement to the county's family court administrator for reporting the relationship to county officials.
Curry's ex-husband, Grand Traverse County resident Ronald Curry, this year lodged a complaint over Stowe's actions with the state agency that oversees Michigan judges.
The Judicial Tenure Commission took "corrective action" against Stowe in response to the allegations, but stopped short of filing a formal complaint that could have resulted in significant discipline.
"I'd be willing to bet there are still people who don't believe he had a relationship with Cindy," Ronald Curry said. "Well, now they know."
Stowe did not return messages seeking comment.
Stowe hired Cynthia Curry in 2002 as a juvenile probation officer, and they allegedly began a personal relationship by year's end. Stowe also presided over Cynthia and Ronald Curry's divorce and ongoing custody issues from 2001 until 2006, when Ronald Curry complained of the relationship to court officials.
The Stowe-Curry relationship continued after she went to work for Holy Cross Children Services in 2005. Holy Cross received an influx of court funds -- it more than doubled to $251,837 -- after Cynthia Curry went to work for the agency to lead a new, court-funded program.
Curry ended her employment with Holy Cross approximately two weeks ago, agency officials said.
Cynthia Curry also proved a divisive factor in Stowe's dealings with family court administrator Michael Stein. Stowe fired Stein in early 2007 after Stein reported Stowe's alleged actions to Grand Traverse County officials, who forwarded the allegations to the state.
Stein threatened a whistleblower lawsuit and Stowe paid Stein $69,000 from court coffers to prevent a suit, an agreement that prohibited him from making negative comments about Stowe's actions.