In his testimony in the state case against ex-Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, Frank Krycia said he was requested to destroy evidence, like a response to a subpoena, and not show it to state police.

In his testimony in the state case against ex-Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, Frank Krycia said he was requested to destroy evidence, like a response to a subpoena, and not show it to state police.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Preliminary exam begins in ex-Macomb County prosecutor’s case

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published July 12, 2021

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MACOMB COUNTY — At press time, the preliminary examination in the case against Eric Smith is underway.

The 54-year-old Smith, of Macomb Township, appeared July 9 in 41-B District Court in Clinton Township.

The case involves Smith, Derek Miller, Ben Liston and William Weber. In this case, Smith is charged with 10 felonies by the state. The charges include embezzlement, conducting criminal enterprises and tampering with evidence.

In court, Assistant Michigan Attorney General Michael Frezza said Smith, the former Macomb County prosecutor, conspired with people under his authority to lie to the FBI and conspired with Liston, the retired Macomb County assistant prosecutor and former chief of operations, to hide embezzlements from Macomb County forfeiture accounts.

It’s alleged that Smith asked Weber, the owner of Weber Security Group, to forge information after being concerned about the police.

Frezza noted that government authorities scrutinized Smith’s spending and use of campaign funds.

Frezza’s first witness on July 9 was Frank Krycia, assistant Macomb County Corporation Counsel. Krycia testified for about three hours. The corporation counsel represents several county departments.

Krycia discussed, among other topics, county finances and processes of how public money is appropriated in Macomb County and the handling of forfeiture funds. Those funds include money generated from assets seized from drug forfeitures or drunken drivers.

Krycia testified that he was requested to destroy evidence, like a response to a subpoena, and not show it to state police.

After checks written by the Prosecutor’s Office were discovered, Krycia called Smith’s request to quash a subpoena something he hadn’t seen before.

“The prosecutor asks for a court to require counsel to destroy a response to subpoenas and certify that it’s done so,” Frezza said.

Smith’s attorney, John Dakmak, called Krycia’s testimony hearsay.

One of the subpoenas Krycia said he issued was for Weber Security Group regarding Smith’s Macomb Township home security and other equipment installed.

Last month, Weber pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and agreed to testify against Smith.

Dakmak said that, in general, the county prosecutor has access to restricted funds, and every expenditure must go to the county for it to be a legitimate expenditure.

He added the prosecutor must request authorization to use forfeiture money, first from the finance department.

In January in federal court, Smith pled guilty to one felony count of obstruction of justice.

Judge Cynthia Arvant of the 46th District Court in Southfield said there’s a lot of commonalities between Smith’s state and federal offenses.

Arvant is presiding over the case since judges in Macomb County’s 41-B District Court recused themselves.

Miller, the ex-Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office chief of operations, also appeared in court July 9 for a preliminary examination. He is charged with a pair of felonies — common law offenses and general conspiracy.

Macomb County Chief Deputy Treasurer Joe Biondo testified the afternoon of July 9.

The case was expected to continue the week of July 12.

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