(WLNS) – Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings is charged of engaging in services of prostitution, willful neglect of duty and pandering, but he is not required to resign until he is charged.
According to former Cooley Law School Professor and Criminal Defense Attorney Ron Bretz, he has never encountered a case of pandering in his decades of working in the law.
Bretz believes although Dunnings is not required to resign as the prosecutor, it doesn’t mean he should stay in the position.
“That is the honorable thing to do, to leave the office untouched by this scandal,” Bretz said.
Attorney General Bill Schuette agrees, saying there is no reason for Dunnings to stay in the position.
“As a prosecutor in any county, you have a special trust, you’re supposed to keep the streets safe, the schools secure, and enforce the law. And that’s the first and foremost responsibility of any prosecutor, yes I think he should resign,” Schuette said.
When it comes to who will fill the position if and when Stuart Dunnings steps down, the current Chief Assistant to Dunnings, Lisa McCormick, does not live in Ingham County and therefore, can’t act as interim prosecutor.
The County Circuit Court Judges are the ones who will determine who would fill the interim position, until the next election, which the filing deadline to run is set as April 19.
Among the charges Dunnings is facing, Schuette made it clear that part of the charges, fell within the lines of Human trafficking.
He made clear, the charges made stemmed from a federal investigation into a Michigan-based trafficking ring last year.
That investigation led to the arrest and conviction of ring leader Tyrone Smith, who then pushed the investigation towards Dunnings.
“As a result of their investigation, evidence came forward about the participation of Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings participating and being a client, and engaging in commercial sex activity with young women,” Schuette said.
Schuette also noted the women Dunnings is charged of pandering with, had never engaged in commercial sex before, but was enticed to perform sexual acts with him in exchange for cash.
Michigan is the number two state in the nation for Human trafficking cases, and it is because of these numbers and the lives involved, that Shari Montgomery is working to create the House of Promise, providing a two year recovery program for women who have been trafficked.
Montgomery told 6 News Dunnings actually announced how he would prosecute every single person involved with the illegal act of Human trafficking.
In response to Dunnings being charged with doing the very thing he said he would protect women from, Montgomery says she is completely disgusted.
“Our society is accepting a lot of things that shouldn’t be acceptable. I don’t know what to say other than my first question is, what’s happening with the girls,” Montgomery said.