Members of the Michigan State Police could be seen removing records from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. An MSP spokesperson said the search was related to an investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

Members of the Michigan State Police could be seen removing records from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. An MSP spokesperson said the search was related to an investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Warrant executed at Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office

Smith: ‘We handed over whatever they wanted’

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published April 18, 2019

 Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith speaks at an April 17 press conference regarding Michigan State Police obtaining documents from his office. The search warrant was related to the usage of Macomb County forfeiture funds.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith speaks at an April 17 press conference regarding Michigan State Police obtaining documents from his office. The search warrant was related to the usage of Macomb County forfeiture funds.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

 The Michigan State Police executed a search warrant April 17 in the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office in the Macomb County Administration Building in Mount Clemens.

The Michigan State Police executed a search warrant April 17 in the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office in the Macomb County Administration Building in Mount Clemens.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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MOUNT CLEMENS – Members of the Michigan State Police could be seen on the morning of April 17 removing records from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office in the Macomb County Administration Building in Mount Clemens.

Michigan State Police Lt. Darren Green, a spokesman for the agency's First District, said that he wouldn’t necessarily call it a raid.

“A search warrant was executed by detectives from the Special Investigations Unit from the First District,” Green said.  

He added that the search was related to Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

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.

Green said he had no idea how many records were removed.

“Anything that was seized, they will leave a record of it for Mr. Smith, but I can’t comment as to what specifically was taken,” Green said. “All we know is the investigation began at the request of the Attorney General’s Office.”

Smith held a press conference April 17, stating “As you know, the Michigan State Police Department presented a search warrant to request for documents to our office.”

He confirmed the records were related to forfeiture funds, and that police had not visited his Macomb Township home.

“We handed over whatever they wanted, and mostly what they wanted was documents,” he said. “We gave them a bankers box full of receipts and records on all of the checks.”

Smith said he recognizes that what happened doesn’t look great.

“After six months of hearing all these falsehoods in the press about what we’ve used this money for, I am so happy to have impartial investigators in our office, looking through our documents, which we gave them a bankers box full of receipts, documents and explanations on how this money was spent,” he said. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be working the Michigan State Police today.”

Smith said the prosecutor’s office is fully cooperating with investigators.

He added that his approach from the beginning to questions raised about the forfeiture program has been to be fully transparent and cooperative.

Smith did not take questions from media members at the press conference, citing that he doesn’t want to complicate investigators jobs.

“As county prosecutor and assistant prosecutor for over 25 years, I’ve dedicated my professional life to upholding the rule of law and seeing that justice is done,” Smith said.    

On April 5, a press release from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office stated that the MSP had launched an investigation into the Prosecutor’s Office.

“Macomb County’s Office of Corporation Counsel was informed that the Michigan State Police, First District Special Investigation Section, has opened a criminal investigation into the Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office use of forfeiture funds,” the release states.

The investigation is ongoing, and Green said the MSP will not release further details at this time.   

Smith said he will continue to cooperate with the investigation and assist in any way so State Police can swiftly conduct their investigation.

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