Hathaway, 58, filed retirement papers with the state Dec. 20, but it was not publicly disclosed until Jan. 7 when a state judicial watchdog filed an ethics complaint against her for the real estate transactions, calling them "blatant and brazen" violations of professional conduct as a judge. Her last day as a justice is Monday, although Hathaway has not participated in court business for two weeks and has vacated her offices.
It was no secret Hathaway was under scrutiny by prosecutors. The government filed a lawsuit in November to seize the Florida home as the fruit of bank fraud. The civil case is pending and likely will be consolidated with the criminal case.
Hathaway was halfway through an eight-year term on the court, the result of a major election upset over then-Chief Justice Cliff Taylor in 2008. Her victory put Democrats in control of the court for a two-year period. She was a Wayne County judge before joining the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Robert Young Jr., a Republican, released a statement, in which he said the scandal diminishes the public's trust in government. He said Hathaway's departure and the criminal charge "bring to a close an unhappy, uncharacteristic chapter in the life of this court."
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will choose Hathaway's successor and likely stretch the GOP's majority to 5-2.
Follow Ed White at twitter.com/edwhiteap