State police raid Macomb County prosecutor's home over forfeiture funds

by

comment
SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

Michigan State Police raided the home of Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith on Monday morning as part of an investigation into his use of forfeiture funds.

Troopers were seen removing items, including security cameras, from Smith’s home.



The 8:10 a.m. raid comes a month after state police executed a search warrant at Smith’s office in Mt. Clemens.

“The state attorney general’s office asked us to initiate this investigation,” Lt. Darren Green told reporters.



Green said Smith was at home during the raid.

"He is here, and he has been cooperating," Green said.

Green declined to say whether state police are working with the FBI, which also was investigating Smith’s use of forfeiture funds after county officials raised questions about the money.

State law requires prosecutors to use forfeiture funds for law enforcement purposes. But Smith used some of the funds — which are collected from repeat drunk drivers and convicted drug dealers — on office furniture, a country club, credit card bills, cell phones, DIRECTV, and Christmas parties. Smith has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said all of the spending was lawful.

The Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved a forensic audit of the expenditures in February.

More than 40 public and private officials have been charged as part of a long-running and expanding federal investigation into public corruption in metro Detroit, with charges that range from extortion and money laundering to bribery and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

The FBI assembled a Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force in 2012 made up of local, state, and federal law enforcement. At the time, Andrew G. Arena, the then-special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit office, said corruption had become a "generational, systemic part of the culture" of southeast Michigan.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.