State police raid Macomb County Prosecutor's Office over suspicious spending

Apr 17, 2019 at 11:11 am
click to enlarge State police raid Macomb County Prosecutor's Office over suspicious spending
MT File photo

Michigan State Police are raiding Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s office in Mt. Clemens after he was accused of misspending asset forfeiture funds.

Attorney General Dana Nessel launched an investigation into Smith’s use of forfeiture funds earlier this year after several county officials questioned whether some of the spending violated state forfeiture laws.

State law requires prosecutors to use forfeiture funds for law enforcement purposes.

But Smith used some of the funds — which are collected from repeat drunk drivers and convicted drug dealers — on office furniture, a country club, credit card bills, cell phones, DIRECTV, and Christmas parties. Smith has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said all of the spending was lawful.

The Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved a forensic audit of the expenditures in February.

Check back for updates.

More than 40 public and private officials have been charged as part of a long-running and expanding federal investigation into public corruption in metro Detroit, with charges that range from extortion and money laundering to bribery and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

The FBI assembled a Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force in 2012 made up of local, state and federal law enforcement.

At the time, Andrew G. Arena, the then-special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit office, said corruption had become a "generational, systemic part of the culture" of southeast Michigan.

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