By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2020

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) - A former suburban Detroit prosecutor who quit when charged with corruption was hit with new allegations Wednesday as federal authorities accused him of obstructing justice in an investigation of how he spent campaign donations.

Eric Smith, who was Macomb County prosecutor for nearly 16 years, will plead guilty in federal court, according to a court filing.

Smith acknowledged in a plea agreement that he told three people, including two assistant prosecutors, to lie when questioned by investigators about his use of campaign cash.

He admitted taking $75,000 for personal use, although he insisted that he never traded “justice for money” while prosecutor in Michigan’s third-largest county.

“I acted irresponsibly and recklessly, and I will be held accountable for my actions,” Smith said in a written statement.

Guidelines call for a prison sentence of 15 to 21 months, although U.S. District Judge Linda Parker has much discretion.

Smith quit office in March after he was charged in state court with embezzlement and other crimes related to an alleged scheme to use money from drunken driving cases, bad check cases and assets forfeited in drug crimes.

Smith and others used money to buy flowers and makeup for female staff, a security system for Smith’s home, garden benches for staff and more, according to the attorney general’s office. It added up to $600,000.

The case is pending. Smith pleaded not guilty.

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