Clarence Gomery was arraigned Monday in Traverse City District Court and jailed on a $5 million bond.
A person who answered the phone at Gomery's law office told The Associated Press there was no immediate comment on the charge.
Gomery served as Leelanau County prosecutor in the late 1990s.
Authorities said Gomery sought the killing of Christopher Cooke, who represented ex-Gomery business partner Fred Topous Jr. He sued Gomery for fraud and malpractice in a golf course deal.
A judge ordered Gomery to pay $315,000 in Topous' legal fees. Gomery filed for bankruptcy in April.