Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith arraigned on multiple charges

Posted at 7:06 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 17:39:42-04

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith was arraigned Friday after being charged with multiple crimes in connection with the spending of forfeiture funds controlled by his office.

Smith was arraigned at the MSP post where he turned himself in.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Tuesday the charges against Smith, Assistant Prosecutor Derek Miller and two others.

In all, Smith faces 10 charges including:
a five-year felony;

  • 1 count tampering with evidence in a civil proceeding – a four-year felony;
  • 1 count accessory after the fact to Liston’s embezzlement by a public official – a five-year felony;
  • 1 count conducting a criminal enterprise – a 20-year felony;
  • 5 counts embezzlement by a public official – a 10-year felony – one count each for years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018; and
  • 1 count of conspiracy to commit forgery – a 14-year felony and a $10,000 additional fine.

Miller is charged with official misconduct in office, and conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner.

Benjamin Liston, a retried assistant prosecutor and former chief of operations, and businessman William Weber were also charged.

Smith has been in office since 2004. He would be up for re-election this year but has not filed to run again.

For Smith to be removed as prosecutor, it would have to be decided by Whitmer or through an action of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners.

A probable cause conference for Smith has been set for April 3. His bond was set at $100,000.