Emmet County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Schuitema backed into a parked car. Then, he drove away from the scene. At first, he told police he didn’t know who was driving his car. Then, he told the truth.
Not only did Schuitema break the law, but he also lied to the police about it.
Emmet County Prosecutor James Linderman doesn’t think Schuitema’s behavior calls into question his ability to be an assistant prosecutor with integrity.
I disagree. Anyone can follow the law when it’s easy. Someone who respects the law does it when it’s hard, and when no one is watching. Can you trust someone who tried to hit and run when they’re asked to cover up police misconduct? What about when a prominent person asks for special disposition for their own hit and run?
I don’t think the public can have confidence in someone’s integrity to enforce the law after they hit and run and lie about it. Of course, voters elected James Linderman to make that judgment call, so for now, Schuitema remains employed with the Emmet County Prosecutor’s Office.