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Former Macomb County assistant prosecutor pleads guilty in kickback scheme

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Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 20:53:23-04

MACOMB CO. (WXYZ) — Former Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Benjamin Liston pleaded guilty Thursday in connection to a kickback scheme that ousted former county prosecutor Eric Smith earlier this year.

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Liston faced multiple felonies, and entered a plea deal Thursday in Macomb County court.

During a remote hearing, he pleaded guilty to three counts of willful neglect of duty by a public officer holding public trust.

Liston will now be sentenced to 60 days in Macomb County Jail, and will surrender his license to practice law and pay restitution of about $16,000.

Additionally, as part of the plea deal, Liston will cooperate in the ongoing prosecution and any further investigation of former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, as well as other remaining defendants in the case, a release states.

“We must demand a standard of integrity from our public servants, and those who break the trust placed in them by the people will answer for those actions,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “My Public Integrity Unit remains on watch for any other situations where the officials serving our communities might have broken the law and we will act swiftly to pursue justice for those crimes.”