MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) - The Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office Friday afternoon identified the pair of assistant prosecutors who were suspended amid allegations they accepted inappropriate gifts from a bail bond agency located across the street from the county court building.
Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague said he has launched a "full-blown" investigation into the matter and suspended Senior Assistant Prosecutor Marc Curtis, a nine-year-veteran with the prosecutor's office, and Assistant Prosecutor Kathryn Norton, who has worked in the office for two years.
According to the prosecutor's office website, Norton is a 2007 graduate from the Michigan State University College of Law. Curtis graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2002.
Tague told 24 Hour News 8 the prosecutors were suspended last week when the allegations came to his attention. It is not clear how long the alleged gift-giving has been taking place or the size of the gifts.
"My office will not tolerate any conduct by any employee that jeopardizes the independence and integrity of the Prosecutor's Office," Tague said. "The matter is under investigation internally and I expect the results to be concluded next week."
The investigation began after Tague's office was alerted that county employees had been receiving large gifts from the Bad Boys Bail Bonds agency at 990 Pine St. in downtown Muskegon -- across the street from the Michael E. Kobza Hall of Justice, where the Prosecutor's Office is located.
Bad Boys Bail Bonds owner Thomas S. Depung -- known as Tommy D. -- declined to comment on the matter when contacted by 24 Hour News 8 by phone Thursday evening.
Convinced that the scope of the investigation will go beyond the Prosecutor's Office, Tague said he expects to have a clearer picture of what occurred in the coming days.
"I'm going to bring out all the facts -- all the truth," Tague said. "And you're going to hear about it next week."
Tague said county personnel rules bar county employees from accepting sizable gifts from anyone while acting in their official capacities.
"It's a fireable offense if you take any gift as a county employee," Tague said, adding that the investigation has not yet proven whether or not the suspended officials did anything wrong."
The investigation is an internal personnel matter that does not involve criminal allegations at this point. Both prosecutors are suspended with pay as the investigation unfolds.
Curtis, who has a resume that includes a stint as a military police officer, did not respond to a message requesting comment Friday. Norton, who was known as Kathryn Leonard before she was recently married, could not be reached by phone.
"This is a full-blown investigation into the entire matter as to who may have been involved," Tague said. "I don't think this is limited to the Prosecutor's Office."
"My report will be delivered, as always, in a total open and appropriate manner," Tague added.
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