Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has resigned, effective immediately.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has resigned, effective immediately.

File photo by Alex Szwarc

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith resigns

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published March 30, 2020 | Updated March 30, 2020 5:47pm


MACOMB COUNTY — A couple days after he was formally arraigned on 10 felony charges, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has resigned, effective immediately.

Around 1:30 p.m. March 30, the 53-year-old Smith, of Macomb Township, released a message which states, “It is with heavy heart that today I am announcing my immediate resignation from the Office of the Macomb County Prosecutor.”

Smith, considered the chief law enforcement officer in the county, had been in that role since 2005 and worked with the prosecutor’s office since 1993. 

On March 27, Smith reported to the Michigan State Police Metro North Post in Oak Park where he was fingerprinted, had a mugshot taken, and was arraigned.

Some of his charges include five counts of embezzlement by a public official, and one count of conducting a criminal enterprise. Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges.

His public resignation letter reads that he could never see himself in any other profession. 

“I have had the privilege of working with some of the most dedicated public servants one could hope to know,” he states. ”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.”  

Smith cites that after much reflection, he knows that for the betterment of his family, his  health, and Macomb County citizens, it is time for him to step aside, “So that the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office can continue its great tradition of serving and protecting the county.”    

A March 24 release from the Michigan Attorney General’s office states that the investigation into Smith began after Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel filed a complaint with the office.

“I think he did the right thing for himself, because he’s going to have to deal with this issue going forward,” Hackel said March 30. “It was the right decision on behalf of the prosecutor’s office too. There has to be this movement to figure out how the office itself regains the public trust.”

Regarding the criminal allegations, Smith states he intends to whole-heartedly defend himself.

“I have been part of the criminal justice system for close to 30 years,” he writes. “Know that I have absolute confidence that our cherished justice system will bring forth the truth and exonerate me.”  

He ends the letter with a message to Macomb County citizens.

“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.”   

With Smith’s departure, a new prosecutor would be appointed by a panel of Macomb County Circuit Court judges. The position of prosecutor is up for election later this year.

Also charged with Smith were Benjamin Liston, a retired Macomb County assistant prosecutor and former chief of operations; Derek Miller, the county’s current assistant prosecutor and chief of operations; and businessman William Weber.