Honesty, integrity, and civility lost in recent letters

EDITOR:

My door is open to help anyone understand the truth behind the work that goes on in the prosecutor’s office in Delta County and our local criminal justice system. I welcome ideas and opinions, but at some point, misleading information and lies must be called out. In her most recent letter, Ms. Hoffmeyer ignores over 650 guilty dispositions on criminal matters in 2017. She ignores seven guilty verdicts during criminal jury trials in 2017. She ignores the felony drug delivery trial in circuit court this summer that I tried to a jury, which resulted in a conviction and prison sentence. She ignores the ongoing hard work on very serious cases that recently came into this office including a murder/child abuse case. She ignores the ongoing work of our drug court aimed at helping people and families. Ms. Hoffmeyer, your recent letter contains blatant lies and unreasonable statements. I would welcome anyone to come observe the hard work, compassion, and integrity that go on every day in the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.

Ms. Hoffmeyer asks, “What has Mr. Strom been doing?” As the elected Delta County prosecutor I have been responsible for over 1,000 criminal cases per year since my appointment in 2015. In 2017 alone, there were over 1,000 criminal hearings in circuit court and over 4,000 criminal hearings in district court. We regularly meet with crime victims. Additionally, all child protection hearings are held in the family division of circuit court. I personally handle multiple trials each year. We handle cases for Pathways Mental Health and Delta County DHHS. I am a key team member of our local drug court and founder of the local task force against substance abuse. Most recently, we have been developing the UP’s first Child Advocacy Center.

My colleagues can attest that I am on call 24/7 and regularly receive phone calls from law enforcement “after hours” dealing with search warrants and complex investigations. Recently, on Saturday Jan. 13, I spent the day at the courthouse drafting legal pleadings and attending an emergency hearing to remove a child from a parent suffering significant and dangerous mental health issues. In this office, it is with great pride that we all work long hours and weekends on difficult cases to serve our community.

When not working, I serve as a trustee for Bay College; I am an officer with Elks Lodge 354; I am involved with the Escanaba Lions Club; I am a Big Brother; I facilitate for Delta Force; and I mentor a law school student – legal intern in the summer. Most importantly I am raising a beautiful daughter with my amazing wife.

I am incredibly proud of my hard working staff and assistant attorneys. Our office could not function without the seven hard-working, dedicated employees in this office. We are all well aware of the unpredictability of jury trials and we work very hard to obtain fair and certain justice in all cases. While we do our best, we do not win every trial we are involved in. Some of the most difficult and unpredictable jury cases include domestic violence and sexual assault. We try to talk to jurors in every case and learn about what we could do better for future cases. We are constantly striving to get better results for our community and victims of crime. I don’t expect everyone to agree with each decision made in this office. Where we disagree, there is room to be respectful and find common ground. My life work will continue to be focused on community service and I appreciate the opportunity to serve Delta County.

Philip Strom

Delta County Prosecutor