Former Macomb Co. Prosecutor Eric Smith pleads guilty to obstruction of justice charges

Eric Smith in Court
Posted at 12:44 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 18:34:57-04

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has pleaded guilty to federal charges of obstruction of justice.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith charged in connection with spending of forfeiture funds

Smith resigned as prosecutor on March 30 after being charged with 10 felonies by the Michigan attorney general in connection with spending of forfeiture funds.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said Smith has been charged with obstruction of justice in violation of federal law in connection with his official duties as an elected county prosecutor. Smith agreed to plead guilty to this charge.

Smith released this statement: “Never did I trade justice for money or any other benefit. Let me be absolutely clear: The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office was never for sale under my watch. I acted irresponsibly and recklessly, and I will be held accountable for my actions. However, I never compromised when it came to protecting the citizens of Macomb County and prosecuting criminals."

Smith allegedly encouraged at least two assistant prosecuting attorneys to lie to the FBI.

Schneider said the fraud began in 2012; Smith allegedly controlled a political campaign fund and raised money by telling donors money would be used for his re-election. Schneider said Smith reportedly stole money from his campaign account and used it for "personal whims."

Schneider details the charges in the video below: