Derek Miller on Sunday resigned as head of the operational department of the Macomb County Attorney’s Office a day before he was due to face a hearing that could lead to his dismissal.
Miller resigned the day before the Laudermill hearing was scheduled to take place in Mount Clemens, according to County Human Resources Director Andrew McKinnon, after which he could be fired or fired for alleged actions in connection with his former chief, former prosecutor Eric Smith, who is accused of 10 crimes for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of public dollars.
In this regard, Auckland County Court Judge Nancy Grant was appointed by the State Court Administrative Office in the Smith-Miller case after all 15 criminal judges on Macomb’s bench announced their removal.
Miller, 38, of Warren, was linked by 41B District Court in Macomb District Court on Feb. 4 on charges of misconduct by a government official and conspiracy to commit an illegal act illegally after a nine-day preliminary hearing of more than six months.
Later that day, prosecutor Pete Lucido filed a request for a hearing in Laudermill against Miller based on the standard of probable cause that had been reached. The county supported Lucido in his efforts, McKinnon said.
Late Monday afternoon, Lucido could not be reached for comment.
Miller has been in that position only for most of the past two years because he was placed on paid administrative leave around April 1, 2022 after Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges against him, Smith and two other co-defendants. . Miller received a salary of about $ 120,000, except for a few weeks last year when he was transferred to a lower position, office manager, and half the salary of Assistant Attorney General William Cataldo when Lucid tried to fire Cataldo. Catalda was appointed head of the special prosecutor’s office, but worked in the district court.
Miller postponed comment to his attorney, Steve Fishman, who represents him in the criminal case. Fishman called the resignation “a tragedy for Derek Miller and the citizens of Macomb County.”
Miller pleaded not guilty throughout the criminal process.
“Derek was a hard-working prosecutor who tried to do the right thing,” Fishman said. “He made changes to the prosecutor’s office that improved transparency and saved the county money. It’s a really sad day when a man like Derek has to quit a job he loved because of false accusations that have no chance of being accepted by the Macomb County jury. ”
Miller is accused of trying to prevent county officials from gaining access to government dollars by altering the identification document in the bank accounts where the funds were kept. He allegedly refused a county official who asked him to change the numbers.
Fishman argued that Miller had no criminal intent because he was unaware of Smith’s alleged illegal actions, which took place several years before Miller joined his administration.
Freeman noted that Miller was promoted to chief of operations in February 2018 a few months before county officials began asking Smith to allocate funds.
Upon taking office, Miller observed changes in some office processes that improved reporting requirements, and said in an e-mail in June 2018 that “it’s okay to grant access,” Fishman said, noting that his client has and other facts.
Miller, whose father is the late Art Miller, a longtime state senator from Warren, served as assistant prosecutor from 2010 to 2014 before being elected to the state House of Representatives. He served 13 months before being appointed county treasurer in early 2016 following the death of former treasurer Ted Wobby. Miller, a Democrat, lost to Republican Larry Rocco in November 2016 and was hired by Smith in December 2016 as an assistant prosecutor before being promoted 14 months later.
The charges against Miller are punishable by up to five years in prison.
The 55-year-old Smith from Macomb town was convicted on one count of racketeering, five counts of embezzlement by government officials, conspiracy to forge, misconduct of a government official, allowance after fact and falsification of evidence. Racketeering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, theft – up to 10 years, and forgery – up to 14 years.
Smith and Miller are awaiting a Feb. 28 hearing in Macomb District Court.
Judge Grant has been on the Auckland County Courts since 1997 and served as Chief Justice from 2009 to 2017, according to the Auckland County Courts. She is a member and former president of the Michigan Judicial Commission and the Association of Judges of Michigan, and has received the “Champion of Attorney General of Justice” award and the Michigan Attorney General Award.
Lucido may be looking to hire a new head of operations.
Lucid, who took office in January 2021, did not take his only political position, a position of choice in his state, as Ralph “Skip” Maccarone left that post in March 2021.