Clarence Gomery is normally in court to defend a client, but the tables were turned Monday as he faced charges of homicide-solicitation of murder.
â??I'd use the phrase saddened. I'm never shocked by much at all anymore but I was very saddened by that by the charges being filed against Mr. Gomery,â?? said attorney Craig Elhart who has known Gomery for nearly two decades.
Gomery graduated from Michigan State University and served as assistant prosecutor in Grand Traverse County from 1991 to 1993, and one term as Leelanau County prosecutor from 1997 to 2000.
Gomery worked as a teacher and business owner before attending Cooley Law School. He also worked for the U.S. Attorney General.
Gomery has worked on several high-profile cases in northern Michigan, including the Robert Schwander case. Schwander is facing up to 70 years for the murder of Carly Lewis.
Gomery filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April 2014.
â??To go through this has got to be very hard for him. It's got to be very hard for his family. It isn't an easy process for anybody and I'm very sorry for it.â??
Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich was a Conservation Officer in the county during Gomery's time as prosecutor and said â??I'm shocked to hear this. Mr. Gomery was a very good prosecutor."
Gomery's case will be reviewed by the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.
â??The court rule of the Michigan Supreme Courtâ?¦ does not prohibit an attorney from practicing simply because he or she has been charged with a crime. It is all dependent on whether or not there's actually been a conviction either by a guilty plea or by a jury verdict,â?? said John Van Bolt, Interim Grievance Administrator of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.
â??I hope the best for him and his family. It's always hard on the family more than anybody else and whatever happens I wish the best to everybody. It's a horrible day,â?? said Elhart.