Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Detroit prosecutor charged for corruption quits amid investigation

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A suburban Detroit prosecutor charged with corruption resigned Monday, saying he’s confident he’ll be cleared but decided to quit “for the betterment of my family, my health and the citizens of Macomb County.”

Eric Smith, who was first elected in 2004, is charged with illegally benefiting from accounts stuffed with money from drunken driving cases, bad check cases and assets forfeited in drug crimes. He pleaded not guilty last week.

“I have been part of the criminal justice system for close to thirty years,” Smith, a Democrat, said. “Know that I have absolute confidence that our cherished justice system will bring forth the truth and exonerate me.”

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Smith is charged by the attorney general with conducting a criminal enterprise, embezzlement and accessory after the fact. The alleged scheme totaled $600,000.

Defense attorney Martin Crandall has called the charges “baseless” but hasn’t address the specific allegations.

Smith and others used money to buy flowers and makeup for female staff, a security system for Smith’s home, garden benches for staff and more, according to the attorney general’s office.

Three other people, including a current and former staff member, are charged in the case.

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