Macomb County prosecutor apologizes for ‘inappropriate’ Robert E. Lee social media posts

Prosecutor Peter Lucido says communications director responsible

The Macomb County prosecutor has issued an apology after coming under fire for social media posts marking the birthday of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general in the U.S. Civil War.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, a post commemorating Lee’s birthday was shared to the official Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office -- a position currently held by Peter Lucido.

The tweet read: “’What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in his world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.’ - R. Lee.” The post included a photo of Lee’s statue in Richmond, Virginia, with text reading “Robert E. Lee’s Birthday ... January 19, 1807 - October 12, 1870.″

Lee is known for leading the South’s attempt to secede from the rest of the country during the Civil War in the 1860s. Lee eventually became the head of the Confederate States Army, which fought to protect the institution of slavery.

Macomb County officials reportedly received several requests for statements regarding the post honoring the controversial figure. On Friday, county Executive Mark Hackel called the prosecutor’s social media posts “disturbing.”

“The County has no control over the prosecutor’s social media accounts, however, we condemn the incredibly insensitive nature of his most recent post,” Hackel said in a statement.

Shortly after Hackel’s statement was released, Lucido apologized for “any stress” the posts created in a separate statement. Lucido also said his communications director was responsible for the posts, and that he had no knowledge of the posts before they were shared.

“On my behalf, my communications director posts information about the office and occasionally current affairs on the prosecutor’s office social media sites,” Lucido’s statement reads Friday. “On Thursday, Robert E. Lee’s birthday, a post was made quoting his statement on the cruelty of war, thinking it was historically significant and not thinking the post needed my review.

“Unfortunately, the greater context of Robert E. Lee, his support of the Confederate States, relationship to our shameful slave history and the hurtful nature of commemorating him to many in our community, was not considered,” Lucido continued. “I understand such a post was inappropriate and immediately had it taken down when I became aware of it.”

You can read Lucido’s full statement below.

The county prosecutor has been at the center of controversy lately, particularly in a recent lawsuit in which a former assistant prosecutor sued Lucido, accusing him of retaliation after allegations of sexual, gender, racial and disability discrimination in the office were reported. That lawsuit also alleges that Lucido pushed for harsher penalties for a Black protester than he did for white protesters during the George Floyd protests in 2020.

From 2021: Group calls for resignation of Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.