Legal experts complain Lucido’s investigation of Whitmer is ‘politically motivated’

Mar 29, 2021 at 1:16 pm
click to enlarge Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido. - Michigan state Senate
Michigan state Senate
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido.

National legal experts are calling on the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission to determine whether Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido can fairly investigate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies.

The complaint, filed Monday by three professors, cites Lucido’s incendiary statements as a state senator and prosecutor and says it “appears that Mr. Lucido has a personal, political axe to grind regarding Gov. Whitmer.”

Lucido, a Shelby Township Republican, repeatedly criticized Whitmer, a Democrat, when he served as a state senator from 2019 to 2020. He was elected as prosecutor in November 2020.

The complaint lists as least eight examples of Lucido blaming Whitmer for COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes.

Now he's investigating Whitmer's nursing home policies.

"As a legislator and candidate for county prosecutor, Mr. Lucido went on the record saying, without evidence, that Governor Whitmer had 'cold-blooded killed' nursing home residents and strenuously suggested he would prosecute her," the complaint states, referring to statements Lucido made on journalist Charlie LeDuff’s podcast No Bullshit News on June 19.

"Now as elected prosecutor he continues to insinuate and allege that Governor Whitmer is criminally responsible for nursing home deaths, to the public and in the press, despite Michigan rules barring attorneys from making public statements that could prejudice adjudicative proceedings."

The complaint alleges Lucido is “using his newly elected office to pursue a politically motivated investigation” in order to “advance his own partisan political interests.”

The complaint was filed by Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota professor; Claire Finkelstein, a University of Pennsylvania law professor; and Larry Dubin, a law professor at University of Detroit Mercy and former chairman of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

Metro Times couldn’t reach Lucido for comment.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.