Prosecutor Fitz seeks third termPublished 8:56pm Monday, April 16, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz announced Monday he is seeking his third four-year term.
Circuit Judge Michael Dodge appointed Fitz in May 2003 to succeed Scott Teter, who joined the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
Fitz was elected in 2004 and 2008.
Fitz, 54, of Cassopolis, has been a prosecutor since 1983, coming here from Muskegon County.
The Republican grew up in Grand Rapids and Traverse City and was also a prosecutor in Tuscola County.
His staff, including attorneys Frank Machnik, Tiffiny Vohwinkle, Diab Rizk and Melissa Sytsma, has more than 75 years experience, compared to less than five years combined immediately prior to his appointment.
“I am thankful for the continuing opportunity to represent the citizens of Cass County,” Fitz said. “The bottom line-job of a prosecutor is to seek justice and protect the public. I believe that during the past decade my office has done its job well for Cass County,” including frugally coming in $185,647 under budget over nine years.
“My office has proven its ability to hold murderers, meth manufacturers, child molesters, home invaders and other dangerous criminals accountable. This has made our community a safer place. We are proud to stand with Cass County law enforcement officers, Department of Human Services workers, the court system and many others seeking justice in the Michiana area.”
Fitz said his office has a 91-percent conviction rate for Circuit Court jury trials, which sends a “clear message. When drug dealers, violent offenders and other criminals take us to trial, they will be convicted.
This includes a 100 percent conviction rate on murder cases and a 95 percent conviction rate on drug cases going to trial in Circuit Court.
“I sincerely believe the Cass County prosecutor’s office is one of the most effective offices in the state when it comes to protecting the public and convicting criminals.”
His Child Support Unit set records in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011 for the number of child support orders established countywide.
In 2009, Fitz’s Victim Witness Unit was recognized by the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan for registering the most victim notifications per capita in the state.
“My entire office staff looks forward to continuing its zealous efforts to bring criminals to justice and protect the citizens of Cass County,” Fitz said.
The murder trial of Jaren Terrell Wade for the death of Darius Nickens on April 14, 2011, is scheduled to begin today.