Two agree to testify against former Macomb County prosecutor as part of plea deals

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Two people charged in an alleged scheme involving former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith have agreed to testify against him in court as part of their plea agreements, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel's office. 

William Weber, owner of Weber Security Group, said during a plea hearing Friday that he had falsified an invoice for a security system installation at Smith's residence in order to make it appear as though it was installed at the prosecutor's office. Weber said he falsified the invoice and produced it in response to an investigative subpoena at Smith's request. 

Weber agreed to testify against Smith and pay $23,960 in restitution as part of his Friday plea, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner, a one-year misdemeanor. 

Four other felonies — forgery, larceny by conversion, aiding and abetting, and receiving and concealing stolen property — were dismissed against Weber. 

“Our public servants must uphold the integrity of the offices in which they serve,” Nessel said in a statement. “My Public Integrity Unit remains committed to ensuring accountability for those who break the public’s trust.” 

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith

Weber joins retired Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Benjamin Liston in agreeing to testify about Smith's role in embezzlement from forfeiture accounts. Liston agreed to the condition in September when he pleaded guilty to three counts of willful neglect of duty by a public officer holding public trust. 

Weber and Liston will be sentenced after providing their testimony against Smith. 

Smith resigned from his post in spring 2020 after Nessel alleged he embezzled about $600,000 in county forfeiture funds taken from lawbreakers in drug and drunken driving cases. Smith had been prosecutor since 2004.

He was charged by the state with 10 felonies dating to 2012. 

In January, Smith pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of obstructing justice in a probe of alleged misuse of $70,000 in campaign funds for his personal use between 2012 and 2020. He was alleged to have pushed a friend and two former assistant county prosecutors to lie to a federal grand jury and the FBI about the campaign funds. 

Derek Miller, a former Macomb County assistant prosecutor, also was charged by the state. 

Smith and Miller are expected to appear for a preliminary examination on July 9.