Investigation of $900K of forfeiture spending sparked raid of prosecutor's home

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The Macomb County Prosecutor had his home and office searched by Michigan State Police Monday.

Smith's office is being investigated for the spending of forfeiture assets - but what are they?  Let's understand what "forfeiture assets" really are. 

If someone gets pulled over for drunk driving by a Warren cop, often the police will then take the car and that is the forfeiture.  

"You often have to pay $900 to get your car back," said Leon Drolet.

And that $900 dollars would be the asset. But where does the money go?  Leon Drolet is a Macomb County Commissioner who has looked at all the records in the Eric Smith case regarding the forfeiture assets. 

"When you pay that $900, that money is supposed to be put over to the county and then appropriated by the elected board of commissioners," he said.

Drolet says that's what the county sheriff does, who also uses forfeiture money spent on specific police functions. 

"But that's not what's been happening.," he said.

And here's where-it appears, the Attorney General is investigating. Where did the forfeiture money go?

"That money has been kept by the prosecutor and put in funds that only he had access to," Drolet said.

FOX 2: "So you're saying this is state law, that there's no discretion here, as to where this money is kept and spent?"

"No, there is no discretion," he said.

Which brings us to problem two: How was the forfeiture money spent?

"We have a bunch of checks written - $780 written to a cheesecake company," Drolet said. "We've got two Christmas parties, three days apart. We've got money for flowers, for DIRECTV, for all kinds of expenditures that we don't know (what for). One written check (is) for a Detroit sports company - for what, we don't know."

FOX 2: "How much money are we talking about?"

"We are talking about $1.8 million, of which half was provided to law enforcement agencies and the other half was spent on who knows what," Drolet said.

Eric Smith will not talk to us on camera but he has said in the past that he has done nothing wrong and he is cooperating with the investigation.

FOX 2: "Did Eric Smith just say I did spend the money appropriately; you guys just don't know about it?"

"That's what he is saying - but unfortunately we don't have any records to back that up," Drolet said.