Prosecutor defends himself against character attack.

October 30, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following letter to the editor was submitted by Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Spaniola in response to a letter to the editor that was posted on MCP on Monday, Oct. 27, written by Rick Singleton of Amber Township. See that letter here. Mr. Spaniola is a candidate for 51st Circuit Court judge.

In the following letter, Mr. Spaniola refers to having known Mr. Singleton’s statements were inaccurate based on a “prior dealing that I had with him.” While Mr. Spaniola does not directly state it in his letter, MCP has found out that he is referring to a series of alleged incidents in February 2013 which ultimately resulted in Mr. Singleton being arraigned on assault and battery charges in October 2013. Ultimately, Mr. Spaniola dismissed the case when Mr. Singleton entered into a prosecutor’s deferment agreement.

Mr. Spaniola told MCP that a prosecutor’s deferment agreement is an agreement whereby a defendant agrees to do certain things, like community service work, counseling, promise to stay out of trouble, have no contact with a victim in exchange for a dismissal of a case.  “Typically this is done with first offenders so they don’t wind up with a record yet receive some sort of sanction,” Spaniola said.

Letter to the Editor:

The 51st Circuit Judge campaign has been run very cordially and respectfully by both candidates. Unfortunately, because of the letter written by Mr. Singleton, I feel compelled to make a response. In 2014, Mr. Singleton came before the Mason County Gun Board requesting a concealed pistol license. Unfortunately he made inaccurate statements on his application, which he swore to under oath.  I knew of the falsity of those statements because of a prior dealing that I had with him. As prosecutor I was required to report those statements to law enforcement as knowingly making  false statements on a CPL application constituted a crime. Upon making that report, I requested the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor and recused the rest of my office from prosecuting the case because I was a witness to the crime.  The Attorney General assigned Ford K. Stone, the Manistee County Prosecutor, to review the investigation of case performed by the Ludington Police Department, to make a charging decision, and to handle the case as he saw fit.  Prosecutor Stone authorized criminal charges for knowingly making false statements on a CPL application and Mr. Singleton pled guilty under a plea agreement.  I had no further involvement in the case, other than as a potential witness.


As Mason County Prosecutor  I make tough decisions on a daily basis and I make them in accordance with the law.  In Mr. Singleton’s case my office was not responsible for the case as a special prosecutor was appointed at my request.  If elected 51st Circuit Court Judge I will continue to make the tough decisions in accordance with the laws that I have taken an oath to uphold.


Paul Spaniola

Mason County Prosecuting Attorney



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