Mr. Hayes )
Roy C. Hayes, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, got his crime-fighting start in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, where he specialized in felony cases such as homicide, arson and fraud.
In the mid ’70s, Mr. Hayes headed up the Wayne County Organized Crime Task Force, where he supervised a team of prosecutors who investigated local major corruption.
One of the cases, which Mr. Hayes prosecuted as the chief trial lawyer, included corruption at Detroit’s 10th police precinct.
Phillip “Jerry” Tannian, a former Detroit police commissioner and police chief, credited Mr. Hayes with helping to curb a burgeoning homicide rate in the city during the 1970s.
“He was absolutely outstanding at it,” Tannian said Sunday of Mr. Hayes’ crime-fighting career. “(His work at the Prosecutor’s Office) had an impact on the homicide rate.”
Mr. Hayes died Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, of pneumonia in Charlevoix. He was 73.
A Detroit native, Mr. Hayes graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1958.
He went to the University of Notre Dame, where he received a bachelor’s degree. He attended the University of Detroit Mercy Law School and received his law degree in 1965.
After he became an attorney, Mr. Hayes became editor of the Detroit Lawyer, the publication for the Detroit Bar Association. He also served as public relations counsel to that Bar Association and the Michigan Bar Association.
In 1967, Mr. Hayes joined the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office as an assistant prosecuting attorney.
In 1976, Mr. Hayes left Metro Detroit for Charlevoix, where he was appointed Charlevoix County prosecutor.
He came back to the Detroit area when he was appointed federal prosecutor in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan.
He prosecuted 22 members of the notorious Chambers Brothers Gang, which ran a major crack cocaine operation in Detroit, in 1988. The case ended in convictions and lengthy prison sentences for the gang members.
During his time as a U.S. attorney, Mr. Hayes developed policies and procedures for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Mr. Hayes left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1989 to go into private practice in Charlevoix. He retired in 2000.
Mr. Hayes also was known for his passion for his Irish heritage and his annual St. Patrick’s Day parties in Charlevoix that drew more than 500 revelers.
“He loved the Emerald Isle,” said Amy McNamara, an attorney.
“When my brother and I were in high school, Dad planned a family trip to Ireland. He was passionate about his Irish heritage.”
Said Mr. Hayes’ son-in-law, John McNamara: “I've never met a person who was so proud to be from anywhere as Joe was to be from Detroit. It was the most magnificent city in the world to him, the city where all things were possible.
“I have no doubt that's why he was so successful in cleaning up government corruption as a Wayne County prosecutor, and drugs in the streets as the U.S attorney.”
Additional survivors include his wife of 46 years, Jackie; a son, Roy “Joe” Hayes III, also an attorney; and six grandchildren.
There will be a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary’s Church in Charlevoix. A reception will follow.
Visitation will be at 4 p.m. Monday at the church, followed by a rosary at 6:30 p.m. and an Irish wake.
Burial will be in St. Mary’s cemetery.
Memorial tributes may be made to St. Mary’s School-Angel Tuition, 1005 Bridge St., Charlevoix, MI 49720.