By Griffin Wasik, Andy Merkle, and Xin Wen
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporters
Ingham County residents were stunned, shocked, and disappointed upon learning that Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III was arrested due to a human trafficking investigation.
Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office in Lansing. Photo by Griffin Wasik
Tina Timm, a professor at the School of Social Work at Michigan State University, said she was stunned with Dunnings’ arrest.
“He was such a strong advocate to eliminate those issues,” Timm said. “It’s fascinating to me, the louder they protest something, and the more of a psychological need there is to actually do these things behind the scenes.
“Dunnings’ wife also filed for divorce. This is very common in a situation like this. She felt betrayed and it is good that she doesn’t feel like she has to side with him.”
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth announced 15 criminal charges in Ingham, Clinton, and Ionia counties, according to a press release.
The mug shot of Stuart Dunnings III, taken shortly after his recent arrest for prostitution-related charges. Photo courtesy the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
“A personal comment. I have worked with Stuart Dunnings while I have served as attorney general,” Schuette said at an announcement in Lansing on March 14. “I am saddened that an elected official who holds a special trust from voters and is the chief prosecutor in our capital city would allegedly engage in conduct causing felony and misdemeanor charges to be filed.”
Dunnings was charged with one count of prostitution, 10 counts of engaging in the services of prostitution and four counts of willful neglect of duty, according to the release.
Ingham County Field and Staff Services Major Joel Maatman commented on Dunnings’ arrest.
“I, like many that have known him for over 25 years, am very stunned by it,” Maatman said.
Doug Rutherford, a Lansing resident, said Dunnings misrepresented the public and broke his trust.
“I thought he did not have the character to be able to maintain office,” Rutherford said. “I am not shocked because that kind of stuff goes on today, but I’m disappointed. I think he will bargain to get a reduced sentence.”