Detroit-area prosecutor Eric Smith charged with embezzlement


MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities charged a Detroit-area prosecutor with corruption Tuesday, alleging he ran a criminal enterprise and embezzled cash from a fund stocked with fines from crimes.

Eric Smith faces 10 charges in Macomb County, according to online court records, following an investigation by state police and the attorney general’s office.

Smith couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. But he again declared his innocence Monday as speculation about charges was emerging.

“During these extremely trying times of the COVID-19 crisis, the focus of our office continues to be the health and safety of our staff, partners in law enforcement and victims,” said Smith, who was first elected in 2004.

Smith is charged with conducting a criminal enterprise, embezzlement, forgery and accessory after the fact.

The fund holds money from drunken drivers who recover impounded vehicles, bad check cases and assets seized in drug investigations, The Macomb Daily reported.

forfeited assets linked to crimes.

The fund’s revenues came from repeat drunk drivers to retrieve their impounded vehicle. Money also comes from drug forfeitures, bad-check restitution and the Warren drug court.

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