2 assistant prosecutors fired over trip

Two assistant prosecutors in Muskegon County have been fired as a result of an investigation into a vacation to Las Vegas, paid for by a local bondsman.
WZZM-TV
Mar 9, 2012

Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague announced Friday morning that Marc Curtis and Kathryn Norton have been fired. Tague said in a statement that while his “investigation did not reveal that the gifts received had any influence on their jobs, their actions reflect an incredible lapse in judgment and have created an unacceptable appearance of impropriety.”

Tague is also requesting an independent investigation from the Attorney Grievance Commission to determine if any violations occurred which could place Curtis’ and Norton’s law licenses in jeopardy.

In the statement, Tague is also requesting an independent review of Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler and Mark Slagle, an employee of both the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department and 60th District Court, for their involvement in the trip.

In February, Tommy DePung, the owner of Bad Boys Bail Bonds Co., invited Curtis, the spouse of Norton, Sheriff Roesler and Slagle to Las Vegas to celebrate DePung’s winning $50,000 in the lottery in August 2011. Roesler could not go and the joint sheriff took his place. After being questioned, those who went on the trip paid costs back to DePung.

The statement also said that the group has played together in golf outings and that Roesler has been the guest of DePung for out-of-state trips in the past.

When WZZM-TV talked to Roesler on Thursday night, he said he had been friends with DePung for years. While he could not go on the trip, Roesler said he encouraged an employee within his department to go.  He now said he made a mistake encouraging the employee to go, but said there was no direct benefit to the sheriff’s office.

Tague said he is concerned by Roesler’s admission that he has traveled out of state with DePung in the past. The Michigan Attorney General’s office is expected to review how those trips were paid for.

Tague said part of the investigation looked into the bonds on cases handled by his employees. He said there was nothing that looked abnormal or suspicious.

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