Dunnings seeking treatment out of state

Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 10:39:09-04

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III is on the other side of the justice system, facing a total of 15 criminal charges in Ingham, Clinton and Ionia Counties.

Counts regarding prostitution, pandering and willful neglect of duty.

While awaiting multiple court dates, documents show Dunnings' attorney, Mike Hocking, has requested his client spend 35 days at a residential treatment facility in Tennessee.

In the documents, Hocking says the request comes from Dunnings' current treatment provider in East Lansing.

The reason is not laid out in the documents, but it's stated he'll start there Monday, March 28th.

While in treatment, Dunnings will still receive his normal salary, totaling $132,000 taxpayer dollars a year. The Ingham County Controller told us because Dunnings is an elected official who receives a salary, no pay like short term disability applies.

But, Commissioner Todd Tennis said it could "But, only if it were essentially done by the Prosecutor's Office. And so, he is still the Chief Executive of the Prosecutor's Office, he makes those decisions and so we can't unilaterally as a Board do that on his behalf, whether he's on duty or not," Commissioner Tennis explained.

Because of rules laid out in State law.

"Once the County Board establishes a salary, a rate of pay for the countywide elected officials, we cannot lower that rate of pay until the next term of office begins," Commissioner Tennis said. "So, our hands are absolutely tied."

As the Commission and the County wait for the court process to play out.

"Mr. Dunnings, as any accused, will have his day in court. And, hopefully the process will get to the truth of all of this, either way," he said.

Dunnings had a court date scheduled for Friday in Clinton County. The Attorney General's Office tells us it's been pushed back to May 13th.

65th District Court Judge Michael Clarizio recused himself from the case Thursday.

Gratiot County Judge Stewart McDonald will now handle the case.