LANSING - The Michigan Court of Appeals has denied a motion of appeal on a charge of prescription fraud against the Presque Isle County prosecuting attorney.
Prosecutor Richard Steiger was accused of obtaining duplicate prescriptions for narcotic painkillers in December 2011, a charge he has denied ever since. After the case was thrown out, first by 88th District Court Judge Theodore Johnson and then by 26th Circuit Court Judge Michael Mack, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office appealed the case once more.
The attorney general's office filed a leave of appeal on June 7, 2012, the last of a 21-day period to appeal Mack's decision, Dan White, Steiger's attorney, said at the time. An appeals court order dated March 5 states the application was denied "for lack of merit in the grounds presented."
Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, said the ruling is "under review." Beyond that, she had no further comment.
For his part, Steiger is glad the court of appeals denied the appeal. The case stemmed from what he called a "biased investigation."
"If I had done anything wrong, or if I had lied, I would've personally removed myself from this office immediately," he said. "I would not have permitted the people of this county, our county commissioners, my staff, my family, my friends to defend me if I had done something wrong."
The attorney general's office does have another avenue to keep the appeal going, Steiger said, this time appealing to the state Supreme Court. He noted the rarity of appealing district court rulings, adding he's never heard of appealing a circuit court ruling.
"I cannot thank enough the people who supported ... myself and my family through this despicable attempt to discredit me," he said. "I'm forever in their gratitude."
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5688.