Complaint calls for ethics investigation into Macomb County prosecutor’s nursing home probe

Legal scholars behind complaint are among most lauded nationwide

On Monday, a group of legal scholars called for an ethics investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido.

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – On Monday, a group of legal scholars called for an ethics investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido.

The group says he can’t be impartial in his investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to put COVID-19 patients in Michigan nursing homes.

That would be some of the nation’s most prominent legal ethicists including one from Detroit.

They say Lucido might have crossed the line by blurring about politics with his duty to prosecute fairly.

Read: Michigan Sen. Peter Lucido seeks investigation into placing COVID-19 patients at nursing homes

Read more: Michigan’s policy of housing COVID-19 nursing home patients with uninfected patients comes under scrutiny

The complaint filed with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission takes direct aim at the outspoken prosecutor who recently claimed the governor could face charges for her nursing home policy during the pandemic.

“We have grave concerns about Mr. Lucido’s behavior with respect to the standards governing the legal profession, the prosecutor’s office and the rule of law. It appears that Mr. Lucido has a personal, political axe to grind regarding governor Whitmer,” read the complaint.

The legal scholars behind the complaint are some of the most lauded in the country, the University of Minnesota’s Richard Painter, a former associate counsel to President George W. Bush, Claire Finkelstein who leads the Center of Ethics and the Rule of Law and Larry Dubin from the University of Detroit Mercy who has been teaching legal ethics for 45 years.

“The problem here is, he’s been soliciting people that come to him, to file issues about the death of their relatives. It’s a very vulnerable population of people who’ve lost people from COVID. Of course they’re going to be put in a difficult position to try to understand whether the governor did anything wrong or not,” said Larry Dubin, a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Lucido a former Republican state senator was a vocal opponent of the governor’s policy while in the senate and has maintained a similar view after coming into his new post in Macomb County.

Dubin believes that might have crossed the line between politics and prosecution.

“If you read the statements that have been made from person in the senate to prosecutor, you almost see a continuous stream of content. That sounds very political, but now has a different purpose,” he said.

Local 4 News tried reaching out to Lucido’s office but did not get a response.

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.