Badovinac reflects on first year as prosecutor

December 28, 2017

By John Raffel

Tony Badovinac is finishing up his first year of being prosecuting attorney for Osceola County and has cited the cooperation he has received from others as among the highlights he’s enjoyed from the position.

This marked the end of his first year as Osceola county prosecutor, filling a two-year vacancy, and fifth year as a prosecutor, and  28th year as a practicing attorney. This week, he made available his thoughts and comments concerning his first year in office.

“I cannot believe how accommodating everyone from the clerical staffs through the department heads, to the sheriff’s office, Reed City and Evart Police departments, DNR, Michigan State Police, Board of Commissioners, and judges are,” he said. “I have never experienced  the degree of cooperation and frankly friendliness that I have in Osceola County.”

Tony Badovinac

Tony Badovinac

Badovinac said the cooperation enables him to focus on dealing with the law and not personnel issues. The legal issues he deals with include crimes such as assault and battery,  drug crimes, drunk  driving, embezzlement, domestic violence, burglary, breaking and enterings,  and criminal sexual conduct.

“People are people everywhere you go and as a prosecutor you constantly see the same type of crimes, defendants and behavior,” he said.

Badovinac has observed the increasing use of controlled substances by individuals.

“Say what you will, about the use of  illegal  drugs but I am telling you as a prosecutor, lawyer, parent, and  teacher, that the illegal use of controlled substances contributes greatly to the type of crimes we have to deal with and the behavior that the use of such substances cause,” he said.

Badovinac maintains many defendants use criminal behavior to fund their addictions and as a result, the number of drugged driving prosecutions has increased significantly. 

He’s been concerned with property crimes.

“Rural areas are conducive to that type of crime because of the very fact that they are rural,” he said. “I see way too many defendants who have no respect for the property rights of others and who would rather steal than work. Likewise I prosecute quite a few individuals from downstate who view the rural countryside as an unpoliced playground where they can do whatever they want, wherever they want.”

One of the major cases Badovinac dealt with was the arrest of four individuals for a spree of breaking and enterings on the east side of Osceola County. All four men entered pleas.

Badovinac said emphasis for 2018 will include the curtailing of property crimes, and putting a check on the use of illegal drugs. He encourage neighbors to look out for each other and points out nearly 70 percent of all successful  prosecutions come from citizens reporting of unusual activities.

Members of his staff include Andy LaPres, Dionne Hopkins, Dani Taylor and Brittany Vanatta.

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