MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith is expected to turn himself into authorities Tuesday as part of an investigation into the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Forfeiture Fund, Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit have learned.
Last year, Michigan State Police raided Smith’s office and then his home in Macomb Township, hoping to learn more about his handling of forfeiture funds. The money in those forfeiture funds is supposed to be used for specific police and law enforcement activities. Smith’s use of the funds is at the center of the investigation, officials said.
“This morning, as you know, members of the Michigan State Police appeared at my home as part of their investigation into the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Forfeiture Fund,” Smith said in a statement after his home was raided. “My family and I complied with their requests and cooperated fully, as I have promised to do from the beginning of this process. I will continue to cooperate fully and supply the State Police with any information they need to conclude their investigation."
We expect to learn more this week. Meanwhile, Smith said he is not turning himself in. Here is a statement from him on Monday:
“I have fully cooperated with the State Police Investigation from the day it began. I will continue to do so. Furthermore, I stand by my previous statements that these forfeiture funds were spent appropriately in accordance with the law. During these extremely trying times of the COVID-19 crisis the focus of our office continues to be the health and safety of our staff, partners in law enforcement and victims. We are continuing to ensure that the wheels of justice do not stop and those that commit crimes are held accountable.”
According to a spreadsheet from the Macomb County Finance Department that covers how the money was spent from 2014 to 2018, Smith spent a considerable amount of money on local police departments and the sheriff’s department, but there were other purchases made that weren’t obvious police activities.
Nearly $2,000 was spent on two refrigerators and equipment, while nearly $20,000 worth of checks were written to AT&T and another $8,000 went to DIRECTV.
More than $10,000 worth of checks were also written to Culligan and Purified Water to Go.
More than $7,000 was also spent on retirement and Christmas parties at Fern Hill Country Club.
The spreadsheet shows that $83,514 was spent with American Express. Many of those charges were made with Smith's secretary's Amex card.
The secretary's name, Lori Addelia, appears on more than 100 checks totaling $63,020. Addelia reportedly would used her own card for purchases and Smith would reimburse her from forfeiture accounts.
The notations on the checks say they were reimbursements for supplies, lunches and equipment.