Macomb County Circuit Court judges plan to meet in May to appoint an interim prosecutor to fill the role vacated by now-former prosecutor Eric Smith. These judges plan to meet on May 20 remotely to alleviate any current health and safety concerns due to the ongoing pandemic. 15 judges plan to take part in the decision to appoint a new prosecutor. There will be a 12-day application period for those interested in the position that ends on May 15. This interim position will end with the November election, where a prosecutor will then be elected to serve for the next four years. Any sitting prosecutor, however, will get a leg up on the competition in the general election whether interim or not. Having any experience in the position will be helpful to any of the prospective hopefuls to fill the newly-vacated role.
Former Prosecutor Eric Smith Facing Charges
Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has been charged with 10 separate criminal corruption offenses relating to the alleged misuse of money forfeited to Macomb County. This money comes from the forfeiture of funds and property of criminal defendants, most typically people accused of drug trafficking. He is charged with conducting a criminal enterprise, five separate counts of embezzlement by a public official, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to commit forgery, accessory to a crime after the fact, and public office misconduct. There are three other defendants in this case for their alleged acts that contributed to these crimes. Smith has been arraigned on the ten charges and a $100,000 personal bond has been set. His passport has been seized by the court and he is not allowed to leave the state of Michigan during the pendency of his case. He was arraigned at 41B District Court in Mount Clemens. He has since resigned from his position at Macomb County Prosecutor amid these charges, opening the way for a new prosecutor. Jean Cloud who was Smith’s lead trial attorney has been serving as the active prosecutor until an interim is named.
Current acting prosecutor Jean Cloud has stated her intention to continue as the interim prosecutor if selected by the Macomb County Circuit Court. She has, however, stated that she does not intend to seek a full term as prosecutor in the general election. Four candidates have so far stated their intention to seek the job as Macomb County Prosecutor in the general election. They include former Waterford District Judge Jodi Debbrecht Switalski, retired Macomb County Circuit Judge Mary Chrzanowski, Michigan State Senator Peter Lucido, and Chesterfield defense attorney Eva Tkaczyk. Three of these four candidates are democrats, with the Lucido being the only republican in the race so far.
• Debbrecht Switalski was a Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor for a period of five years from 2004-2009 before she was appointed judge in 2010 and won the next election in 2012.
• Chrzanowski earned the nickname “scary Mary” from defense attorneys who often felt her heavy hand from the bench in criminal cases. She was elected in 1992 and served as a Circuit Court Judge for 24 years.
• Lucido served three years in the Michigan House of Representatives before his election to the state senate in 2018. He has served as a criminal defense attorney for nearly 30 years.
• Tkacyk is a private attorney practicing out of Chesterfield primarily in the area of criminal defense. She ran for Macomb County Clerk in 2018 but was unsuccessful in her efforts.
Any Further Questions?
If you have any additional questions relating to this case or anything else related to public corruption, then we are happy to offer a FREE consultation. If you or someone you love is facing a criminal charge or is currently being investigated for a possible criminal charge, then it is important to seek the advice and counsel of an attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, we have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully representing clients in both federal and state court respectively. We are a criminal defense firm, it’s all we do. We are available by phone on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide offices. We can also come to you.