Commissioners asked to call for St. Joseph Co. prosecutor’s resignation

Southwest Michigan

St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough. (2015 file)

CENTREVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A letter signed by a state representative and several people from St. Joseph County asks the Board of Commissioners to oust longtime Prosecutor John McDonough.

While the letter (PDF) dated Monday references the drunken driving charges McDonough faces following a May crash, it also alleges failings that the writers say have gone on for years.

The letter claims McDonough has failed to show up for work, mismanaged his office and made plea agreements against the advice of his staff and without consulting victims. The chaotic office, the letter alleges, has led to high turnover as “overburdened” assistant prosecutors seek better jobs.

The 26 people who signed the letter include Colon Township resident Tadd Davis; state Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sherman Township; several officials from various townships in St. Joseph County; a number of residents; and a few people from outside the county.

McDonough was arrested May 11 after he crashed his car into a fence near Three Rivers. Records show he told dispatchers it happened after a “coughing fit,” but also that he blew a .107 when given a portable breath test at the scene. The police report also shows deputies believed there was alcohol in a Coke bottle found in his car.

The letter from Davis, Miller and others also says McDonough’s “posture” in regards to the crash “demands his resignation.” It calls on the commission to call for that resignation at its Tuesday meeting.

The commission meeting agenda does not include anything about McDonough.

McDonough, who was first elected prosecutor in 2008, is up for reelection this fall.

He faces charges of operating while intoxicated and having open intoxicants in his vehicle. He is expected back in court for a pre-trial hearing Friday.

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