Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith releases FOIA documents after lawsuit

Smith says he didn't want records to interfere with police investigation

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – A couple of months ago when Michigan State Police confiscated documents from Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s office they had issued a search warrant.

Local 4 wanted to know what they were looking for, so we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Macomb County. The county said the prosecutor had the records. 

Our attorney asked Judge Edward Servitto to force the prosecutor to produce the records and in court Monday he said, “The appropriate representative from the prosecutor’s office does have to be here and those documents have to be produced, they are public record.” 

No one from the prosecutor’s office was there, but the judge issued this order to produce by Wednesday at 11 a.m.

By 2 p.m. this afternoon the prosecutor gave us what we asked for: a 10 page document dump showing what Michigan State Police were after. 

Michigan State Police demanded all records related to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s drug and OWI vehicle forfeiture programs, also the bad check restitution program and the Warren drug court from the end of 2011 to the end of 2018. 

Property to be searched and seized was a lenthy list but starts with all bank accounts and internal accounting records, credit card statements, invoices and Smith’s computer and cell phone along with the computers and cell phones of Smith’s James Langry and chief deputy and operations manager Derek Miller. 

The last paragraph sums up the MSP’s search saying all the electronic information seized will be brought to a forensic computer examiner to search for and seize any records “relating to the crime of embezzlement.” 

In a statement Monday afternoon Smith said he didn’t produce these records because the state police had told him not to do anything that would interfere with their investigation. 

Smith said he checked with MSP and today they said the release would not impact their case.

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