TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Clarence Gomery knows his way around a courtroom.
In the late 90s he was Leelanau County prosecutor. Now, he's charged in neighboring Grand Traverse County with solicitation of murder.
"We went to his house and he wasn't there. It took us a while to track him down which we did and made the arrest in Leelanau County this morning," said Grand Traverse County Sheriff Thomas Bensley.
Gomery's troubles began when he represented a $57-million lottery winner who wanted to buy a closed Traverse City golf course. The man eventually sued Gomery for fraud, and won with the help of his new lawyer Chris Cook. Investigators say Gomery tried to kill cook with the help of a dock installer named Dale Fisher, but Fisher went to police.
"I thought it was just my human obligation to prevent a murder," said Fisher.
Gomery allegedly met with Fisher at his law office in Traverse City and offered him $20,000 for the hit. That included $1,000 to buy a gun to murder Cook.
"The reason that I feel safe at this point is because Dale Fisher came forward when he was approached by Mr. Gomery and had the strength and fortitude of character to go to the police about it and to come to me about it," said Cook.
Gomery had been ordered to pay cook $314,000 in legal fees stemming from the civil suit. He filed for bankruptcy in April.
Gomery is being held on a $5 million bond.