As the wave of criminal indictments and convictions targeting Macomb County politicians continues, state Sen. Pete Lucido, the leading Republican candidate for county prosecutor, announced today that if he is elected he will create a special unit to investigate public corruption.
Lucido’s proposal comes one day after former county Public Works Commissioner Tony Marrocco, a Ray Township Democrat, was hit with several federal indictments for extortion. Two days ago, Marrocco’s former deputy commissioner, Republican Dino Bucci, pled guilty in federal court to similar crimes. In exchange for cooperating with the FBI, he is expected to receive a prison sentence of less than 10 years.
And in March, former prosecutor Eric Smith resigned after he was charged with 10 felonies. Smith, a Macomb Township Democrat, is accused of pilfering at least $600,000 from an off-the-books account in the prosecutor’s office.
Smith’s abrupt departure after nearly 16 years in office created a vacancy for the county’s top law man that has attracted seven candidates, including Lucido, a Shelby Township Republican.
In a brief statement, Lucido said:
“Earlier this week, following a lengthy investigation, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment against former Macomb County Public Works Commissioner, Anthony Marrocco. The focus of the FBI on public corruption within Macomb County has resulted in the convictions of nearly two dozen public officials and contractors, including former Public Works Deputy and Macomb Township Trustee Dino Bucci. I applaud the efforts of the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Matthew Schneider, along with the FBI for their role in cleaning up corruption within Macomb County.
“As your prosecutor, my first task will be to create a ‘Public Corruption and Integrity Unit’ to assist local law enforcement in their investigations of corruption at all levels of county, city and township government. It is an embarrassment to our county that our former prosecutor, Eric Smith, chose to look the other way when citizens of this proud county voiced their concerns about possible illegal activity within our government throughout the past 15 years. Corruption is not a partisan issue. Our county deserves better — we all deserve better. I can promise you that as your prosecuting attorney, my office will never ignore evidence of corruption in our county.
In the August Republican primary, Lucido will face attorney Richard John Goodman of Romeo. In the race for the Democratic nomination two former judges, Mary Chrzanowski and Jodi Switalski, are in the running along with former Michigan Bar Association president Rom Rombach and attorneys Saima Khalil and Eva Tkaczyk.
Earlier this year, Lucido was removed as a Senate committee chairman by his GOP colleagues after complaints of sexual harassment in the capital were filed against him by three women.