Ingham County Prosecutor Dunnings plans to resign in wake of prostitution charges
Lansing — Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III, who faces multiple criminal charges of engaging with prostitutes, has placed himself on three months paid medical leave and plans to resign from office July 2.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Ingham County officials, Dunnings said he would be taking a medical leave of absence until July 1 and then tender his resignation from office the following the day.
Dunnings, 63, has been off the job for two weeks after being arrested and charged with 15 criminal counts for allegedly having sex with hundreds of prostitutes between 2010 and 2015.
Attorney General Bill Schuette also has charged Dunnings with one count of pandering — a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison — for convincing one woman to become a prostitute.
Because he is a countywide elected official, Dunnings is free to take as much paid time off as he wants, Ingham County Commission Chairwoman Kara Hope said.
“He can call it medical leave or whatever he wants and he can collect his paycheck and commissioners are powerless to do anything about it,” Hope said Tuesday.
Dunnings, a Democrat, is paid $132,075 annually and would collect more than $33,000 over the three-month medical leave period he intends to take.
“I don’t know why he’s doing it that way,” Hope said of Dunnings’ delayed resignation.
In addition to resigning on July 2, Dunnings said he won’t be seeking re-election this year after nearly 20 years in office.
“This will further notify you that I will not be filing the necessary paperwork to run as an incumbent for the office of Prosecuting Attorney,” Dunnings wrote in the letter to Hope, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and Chief Circuit Court Judge Janelle Lawless. “It has been an honor a privilege to serve the citizens of Ingham County as Prosecuting Attorney.”
After Dunnings resigns, the Ingham County Circuit Court judges will get to select an interim prosecutor to serve out the remainder of Dunnings’ term this year, Hope said.
Dunnings recently checked himself into a residential treatment facility in Tennessee for an unspecified reasons, according to court filings. A federal probe of a human trafficking ring led state and county investigators to Dunnings and his brother, Steven Dunnings, a Lansing-area attorney charged with two counts of engaging prostitution.
Hope said she looks forward to Dunnings leaving office “so we can move on.”
Byrum and Schuette’s spokeswoman both declined to comment Tuesday on Dunnings’ resignation.