Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith charged in state, federal investigations

Smith arraigned on federal charges Friday

What's next in case against former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith?

Macomb County’s former Prosecutor Eric Smith is facing federal and state charges in two different investigation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI as well as the Michigan Attorney General’s Office are conducting investigations, charging him on different alleged crimes.

Smith was arraigned on federal charges Friday.

According to the Justice Department, Smith was funneling campaign funds to friends who would then send it back to him so he could use it for whatever he chose.

In addition, federal court said he developed a scheme with Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Bukowski to set up a fake consulting company contact to justify $20,000 in campaign money he stole.

“It was clear it was more than misappropriation of funds it was.” said Macomb County Commissioner.

Drolet along with county executive and treasurer Larry Rocca raised the alarm in 2018 over Smith’s handling of county asset forfeiture money.

Drolet was pouring through the checks from the account which Smith fought having to release and discovered irregularities. He pushed his colleagues on the board of commissioners to demand a forensic audit.

Smith is now facing 10 felonies from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, accused of using the money for his own personal fund.

Nessel also charged two of Smith’s top aides -- Ben Liston, who is married to Warren District Judge Suzanne Faunce, and Derek Miller, who comes from a prominent Macomb Political family.

“There’s been so many news stories over the last few years of elected officials being arrested for illegal activity that its almost become a normal part of the news cycle,” Drolet said.

About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.