Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Macomb County Prosecutor--Update

On Monday, the Bad Lawyer brought you the story of the Detroit-area prosecutor who went postal on the voicemail of a local candidate.  I provided you a link to the local news account with the mp.3 of the voicemail. 

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Macomb County prosecutor, Eric Smith (pic), has now apologized for his "language," essentially the repeated threatening use of the "f-word."  He may face misdemeanor criminal charges, and certainly disciplinary charges as I speculated.  Here's the update:

"The Macomb County Republican Party is preparing a complaint for the state Attorney General's Office, with audio recording, of a profane and allegedly threatening message left Saturday by Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith to County Commission candidate James Perna.  Perna is running against Smith's brother, Bob Smith Jr., for the 12th District seat.

Party Chairman Jared Maynard said Monday the party also is preparing to file an attorney grievance complaint. If a lawyer violates a criminal law, the Attorney Grievance Commission has a basis for bringing a formal complaint against the attorney with the Attorney Discipline Board, said Larry Dubin, professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. If there is a conviction, he said, the commission can rely upon that conviction. If not, the commission can independently prove that a criminal law was violated.

Michigan State Police Capt. Harold Love said his agency will follow up on a complaint made by Perna with State Police. If charges are sought, the matter could be referred to a special prosecutor or the Attorney General's Office, said Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for the office.

Eric Smith admitted that he left a profane message on Perna's voice mail, in which he called Perna a liar and said that  'we are going to (expletive) bury you' over a negative campaign mailer sent by the county Republican Party.  Smith said he regretted leaving the message and apologized for his language.

Maynard said he believes Smith is 'absolutely guilty'  of violating the state law called malicious use of service provided by telecommunications service provider.  According to the law, 'a person is guilty of a misdemeanor who maliciously uses any service provided by a telecommunications service provider with intent to terrorize, frighten, intimidate, threaten, harass, molest or annoy another person.'"
The incredible arrogance of these County prosecutors needs to be circumscribed.  One hopes that the the voters in Macomb County will take appropriate action, unlikely but one can hope.

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