MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith announced Monday that he has resigned amid corruption charges.
Already, one name has announced his intention to run for the position. That’s Republican Sen. Peter Lucido of Macomb County’s Shelby Township.
Smith has been hit with 10 criminal corruption charges -- including running a criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony -- in connection with the alleged misuse of county forfeiture funds.
The investigation into those monies by the Attorney General’s Office took nearly a year of wading through the financials.
Smith did everything he could to prevent county oversight of his funds. When that failed it became clear there were serious questions about how he had been using the money.
Lucido lost his position leading the Senate Advice and Consent Committee after the Senate opened an investigation into allegations that Lucido made a sexist comment to a reporter.
A female senator then accused him of sexually harassing her at a Capitol orientation. A woman who works for a trade group made similar allegations.
Here’s the full resignation letter from Smith:
"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.”
Smith was arraigned Friday morning in 41B District Court.
A not guilty plea was entered on Smith’s behalf. A probable cause conference has been set for 8:30 a.m. April 3. The state asked for a $250,000 personal recognizance bond, while the defense asked for it be to $10,000.