A former Detroit-area prosecutor pleaded guilty Tuesday to three charges after an investigation found he embezzled more than $600,000 from drug and drunken driving forfeiture funds, which is money that defendants have forfeited.
A Michigan State Police investigation found former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith used the funds to throw parties, buy gifts and install a personal home security system.
Smith, 56, accepted a plea bargain from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office in which seven other counts against him were dropped. He pleaded guilty to official misconduct, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit forgery.
Under Smith’s plea deal, a $25,000 restitution order will be entered at sentencing to repay the funds he embezzled from, Nessel’s office said. He will be sentenced on Sept. 6.
This is not the first time Smith has gotten into legal trouble. In 2021, he pleaded guilty to federal charges of attempting to obstruct justice and is serving a 21-month sentence, Nessel said.
Smith, a Democrat, began working in the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office in 1993, was first elected prosecutor in 2004 and resigned as prosecutor in March 2020 after the attorney general filed criminal charges.