Macomb Co. prosecutor Eric Smith resigns amid criminal enterprise accusations – FOX 2 Detroit


Eric Smith has resigned as Macomb County Prosecutor Monday, effective immediately, just days after Michigan’s attorney general charged him with running a criminal enterprise.  

“After much reflection, I know that for the betterment of my family, my health, and the citizens of Macomb County it is time for me to step aside so that the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office can continue its great tradition of serving and protecting the county,” he said in a statement.

Smith was booked on 10 felonies Friday, which include five counts of embezzlement, and single charges of running a criminal enterprise, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to commit forgery, misconduct in office and accessory after the fact.

He’s accused of misusing money in the forfeiture fund, which is essentially money that comes from drunk drivers and drug forfeitures and should be used publicly for prosecuting crimes or for victims.

Instead, Michigan AG Dana Nessel says Smith used the money for a personal security system for his house, country club parties, campaign expenses and to buy flowers and make-up for his secretaries.

“There have been several allegations leveled against me by the Michigan Department of Attorney General in the past few days. I intend to whole-heartedly defend myself against those allegations. I have been part of the criminal justice system for close to thirty years. Know that I have absolute confidence that our cherished justice system will bring forth the truth and exonerate me,” Smith said in his statement.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel had also been calling for Smith to resign amid the accusations. 

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Three other people were also charged alongside Smith: his former Chief of Staff Benjamin Liston, current Chief of Operations Derek Miller and businessman William Weber.

Smith received a $100,000 personal bond Friday and was ordered to have no contact with his co-defendants and limited contact with witnesses he works with.

If convicted, Smith could get up to 20 years in prison.

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Here is Smith’s statement in full:

MOUNT CLEMENS, MI — Since 1993, I have served the citizens of Macomb County as an assistant prosecuting attorney and then as the elected prosecuting attorney to the best of my abilities. I could never see myself in any other profession. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most dedicated public servants one could hope to know. From my colleagues in the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, members of the judiciary, members of local, county and state government, to the men and women in law enforcement departments across the state, I am honored to have stood shoulder to shoulder with so many exemplary people in the fight for justice. 

With that said, it is with heavy heart that today I am announcing my immediate resignation from the Office of the Macomb County Prosecutor. After much reflection, I know that for the betterment of my family, my health, and the citizens of Macomb County it is time for me to step aside so that the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office can continue its great tradition of serving and protecting the county.   

There have been several allegations leveled against me by the Michigan Department of Attorney General in the past few days. I intend to whole-heartedly defend myself against those allegations. I have been part of the criminal justice system for close to thirty years. Know that I have absolute confidence that our cherished justice system will bring forth the truth and exonerate me. 

To the citizens of Macomb County, thank you for allowing me to be your prosecutor for so many years. I remain humbled by your trust and confidence in me. The Office of the Macomb County Prosecutor is bigger than any one person. I know that the office will continue to serve the county with distinction. God bless you all.

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