Whitmer sworn in as Interim Prosecutor

Published: Jun. 21, 2016 at 6:32 PM EDT
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Ingham County's own Gretchen Whitmer has taken the oath of Interim Prosecutor.

"To be back trying to work for the people of this County and set this Office straight and give them confidence in it is something I'm really excited about," she said.

Whitmer replaces Stuart Dunnings III when he resigns July 2nd.

Dunnings is currently on medical leave after being charged with 15 prostitution-related crimes.

"I know we can do better, I know we deserve better and I want to be part of the solution," Whitmer said.

Chief Circuit Court Judge Janelle Lawless agreed.

"It's just unfortunate and very disappointing for all of us involved in the justice system," she said. "The one that we trust now is going to be Ms. Whitmer."

The Circuit Court Judges held an application process for the interim position and, unanimously selected Whitmer for the job last month, based on her ties to the community and her track record.

"She has displayed leadership in the roles that she has had. And, I think probably the biggest thing that we were looking for was someone that had the ability to restore public trust and public confidence to the Prosecutor's Office," Judge Lawless explained.

Whitmer admits she doesn't have much criminal law experience, but said maybe that's a good thing.

"No, I'm not a criminal attorney by trade, but I am an attorney," she said. "I've been on the front lines during tough debate in the legislature on criminal issues. And so, I think I've got maybe a different kind of experience than we've seen, but maybe that's exactly what we need right now."

Because the focus for the next 6 months is regaining the community's trust and in Whitmer's words, creating a "well-run, professional" office by December, when her time is up.

New Ten reached out to a local attorney about Whitmer's lack of criminal law experience. He said that shouldn't be much of a problem because there are plenty of people currently in the Office who she can rely on.

Plus, he said Whitmer's main job is to just manage and restore the integrity of the Office.

Whitmer officially takes Office on July 2nd. She'll hold the position through the end of the year, when the candidate elected this November takes over.

Whitmer also mentioned she's not ruling out a run for Governor in 2018.

Which might be why the GOP has called on her to release any emails related to what they consider a "secret selection" as Prosecutor.

Whitmer told News Ten she didn't have any communication through email regarding the position.