The Michigan State Police says its investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith is wrapping up and should be completed in the next month. Pictured is when police searched Smith’s Macomb Township home last year.

The Michigan State Police says its investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith is wrapping up and should be completed in the next month. Pictured is when police searched Smith’s Macomb Township home last year.

File photo by Alex Szwarc


MSP investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith nears completion

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published March 4, 2020

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MACOMB COUNTY — Since June, not much has been said about an investigation regarding a top Macomb County official.

Last year, detectives from the Michigan State Police Special Investigations Unit from the 1st District conducted a pair of searches for an investigation that police say centers on Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

The week of Feb. 24, MSP Detective 1st Lt. Jason Nemecek, from the 1st District Special Investigation Section, told C & G Newspapers the investigation is wrapping up, and he expects it to be completed in the next month.

“There’s a lot of information going through details on this case,” Nemecek said.

He added that a question the unit hears often, as it relates to this case, is why the 1st District in Lansing is working on it, as opposed to a unit located closer to Macomb County.

“Each district in the state police has their own special investigation section,” he said. “We want to make sure there’s no conflict of interest (or) any bias. We want an unbiased investigation, where we typically send someone in from another area. We never worked with them, so that way there’s not a bias either way.”

Nemecek said it’s a matter of gathering evidence and data collection as to why the investigation is ongoing.

In January, MSP Public Information Officer and Hometown Security Unit Lt. Brian Oleksyk said these types of investigations are lengthy and slow.    

Last May, six MSP detectives executed a search warrant at Smith’s Macomb Township home in the area of Romeo Plank and 26 Mile roads.

At the time of the search of Smith’s home, Michigan State Police Lt. Darren Green, a public information officer for the agency’s 1st District, did not comment on specific evidence that was seized.

Green indicated that investigators removed mounted surveillance cameras from outside the front of the home.

A couple of weeks prior to searching Smith’s home, investigators removed records from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office in the Macomb County Administration Building in Mount Clemens.

Smith has continually defended his office against accusations of misspent forfeiture funds, which include money generated from assets seized from drug forfeitures or drunken drivers.

Last April, it was announced that the MSP had launched an investigation into the Prosecutor’s Office.

In June 2019, MSP search warrants stated that any computers, cellphones or digital storage devices were taken to a qualified forensic computer examiner to search for and seize any and all records and documents relating to the crime of embezzlement.

At that time, the office search warrant indicated that the property to be searched and seized was described as all documents and records related to funds received from drug forfeitures, operating while intoxicated vehicle forfeitures, the bad check restitution program, and the Warren drug court from December 2011 to November 2018.

Both MSP evidence tabulation sheets list Smith as the suspect. Over 30 items are on the list from April’s search. They include a couple of iPhones, Chemical Bank documents, a file marked “forfeiture witness information,” and assorted documents.

Once the MSP finishes the investigation, it will present its findings to the state Attorney General’s Office, which determines if a crime has been committed.

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