Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith was released from a federal prison in Indiana, where he served seven months for stealing money from his campaign fund.
Smith was transferred Jan. 31 from Federal Correctional Institute Terre Haute's adjacent minimum security satellite camp to community confinement overseen by the Federal Bureau of Prison's Detroit Residential Reentry Management Office, spokesperson Benjamin O'Cone wrote in an email Monday to the Free Press.
O'Cone wrote that community confinement means either home confinement or a residential reentry center (halfway house).
"For safety, and security reasons, we do not discuss any individual inmate's conditions of confinement, including transfers or release plans, nor do we specify an individual's specific location while in community confinement," according to O'Cone's email.
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Smith under federal prison oversight until Christmas
The Detroit U.S. Attorney's Office said: "The Bureau of Prisons determines inmate eligibility for home confinement under the CARES Act. We were not aware of and had no input on the BOP's decision to release Mr. Smith."
Smith's projected release date from the custody of the Bureau of Prisons is Christmas Day of this year.
Smith's attorney, John Dakmak, could not be immediately reached Monday afternoon.
Smith, 56, turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the end of June. He pleaded guilty in federal court in January 2021 after being accused of stealing just under $75,000 from his campaign fund from 2012 to 2019. He was sentenced nearly a year ago - Feb. 16, 2022 - to 21 months in federal prison.
He initially was to report within 90 days of his sentencing, or in mid-May. The federal judge in Detroit signed an order for a new date for Smith to surrender to federal prison - on or after June 15, but no later than June 30.
The federal prison in Indiana is a 6½-hour drive away from Smith's Macomb Township home.
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More than 13,500 federal offenders are managed by Residential Reentry Management field offices, including 5,632 in home confinement and 7,270 in residential reentry centers, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has reviewed inmates who have COVID-19 risk factors to determine which ones are suitable for home confinement.
At sentencing, Dakmak asked the judge to sentence Smith to probation, saying Smith is a Type 1 diabetic with an insulin pump and has contracted COVID-19 twice even while vaccinated.
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State charges loom for Smith
Smith is scheduled for trial May 15 in state court, where he was separately charged with numerous counts in an embezzlement case that involves the alleged misuse of drug and forfeiture funds in his former office.
He is accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from those funds for personal and unauthorized business expenses during the course of many years in office.
Smith resigned March 30, 2020, less than a week after he was charged in the embezzlement probe. He was disbarred effective June 15, according to a notice on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.
Three others, including two former assistant prosecutors, are awaiting sentencing for their roles in the embezzlement probe involving Smith.
Contact Christina Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Ex-Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith released from federal prison