The Choice to Become Prosecutor
Robert was raised in Muskegon County, Michigan with his parents and three brothers. After attending Oakridge High School, Robert attended Grand Valley State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. While at Cooley, Robert chose to focus his studies on the poor and disenfranchised. It was during his internship with the Barry County Prosecutor’s office that his passion for public service was enhanced. After graduating, Robert opened a private practice firm while he searched for a position as an assistant prosecutor. Robert was hired in 2010 to serve as the Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Iron County. He was there for over a year before accepting an assistant prosecuting attorney position in Shiawassee County where he could be close to family. Robert worked in Shiawassee County for about seven years and then for the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s office for two years. Robert opened a criminal defense practice this past September. His office is in Flint, Michigan. He practices in Shiawassee and Genesee County. Practicing in Genesee County has given him another view of a prosecutor’s office and how it is run in another county.
Robert believes that having a vast knowledge of the justice system from a defense side will assist him in becoming the most effective and fair prosecutor. Being a defense attorney requires that you “put yourselves in the other person’s shoes” at least for a moment. A defense attorney represents clients who have made mistakes, who have problems, and who may have done some terrible things – but didn’t arrive at that point from nowhere. Defense attorneys acquire a great deal of empathy. They require generosity and the suspension of judgment. Whereas, generally, prosecutors are in the business of judging, of upholding standards. Having experience from both sides of the law is a tremendous asset.
While an assistant prosecutor in Shiawassee County, Robert received an award in 2017 for Professional Excellence from the Michigan State Police, for his prosecution of a methamphetamine ring in Shiawassee County. Without the tireless efforts of local law enforcement that would not have been possible. It is important to him to have a strong relationship and trust with law enforcement so they can focus on a common goal.
Robert has lived in Shiawassee County for the last nine years. Robert and his wife, Amy, have three children attending school in the Corunna Public School District who are active in sports and 4-H. Robert’s free time is spent giving back to the community as a referee. Robert is a referee/umpire for youth and high school football, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball. Robert had the pleasure of refereeing an MHSAA High School Football State Final this past season as well, which was a great experience. He enjoys being out on the field and recruiting and teaching other new referees. It is a great way to give back to sports and the youth of the community, as the number of referees decline yearly. Robert loves being out in the community and the comradery working with other fellow officials whom he has created a bond with. Robert also refs college volleyball and softball. Robert and his family enjoy camping, kayaking and spending time up north. His daughter, Sara, just finished her freshman year at Ferris State University which he is extremely proud of.