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Letter to the Editor: Cooper more qualified than Bishop to be prosecutor

October 24, 2012 - Who are we? We are two well experienced Oakland County Attorneys who are familiar with the qualifications of Jessica Cooper and Michael Bishop, the two candidates running for Oakland Count Prosecutor.

Otis Underwood I practice law from my office in Oxford, I have actively practiced for 42 years, in both district courts and county circuit courts including Wayne, Lapeer, Oakland, Macomb, Genesee, and several other Michigan Supreme Court and Federal District Courts in Michigan, Tennessee Ohio and Georgia. Nature of my practice? It is largely civil, but I have also tried misdemeanor cases in district courts and at least fifty circuit court felony cases. A felony is a crime with a two or more sentence.

Francis P. Hughes retired after practicing 33 years including three year in Gaylord and 30 years in Rochester, including 23 years as a partner in Bebout, Potere, Cox, Huges & O'Mara and seven years as a sole practitioner. I retired in 2000. The nature of my experience was largely civil, but I tried eight felony cases. I was briefly an assistant city attorney in Gaylord, and a assistant city attorney in Rochester, where I handled both traffic offenses and city ordinance violations. I have practiced in many district courts and county circuit courts including Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Genesee and 18 other Michigan counties. I also practiced in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District.

Jessica Cooper is a former district judge, circuit judge, court of appeals judge and a four year term Oakland Prosecutor who supervises a staff of 180 persons including criminal trial lawyers, investigators, legal secretaries, etc., all in a county with a current population of 1,210,000 persons.

Michael Bishop is a 12-year Lansing Politician who has never tried or prosecuted a felony case. He was term limited out of office and one of his last acts was an attempt to reverse the term limits law. Thankfully, he failed to do so.

He has since been self-employed as a real-estate attorney. He did handle some ordinance violations and minor traffic offenses, but that does not make him a prosecuting attorney as those matter are usually settled by payment of a fine, removal of a sign or a plea of guilty to a lesser traffic offense.

The voters should ask themselves "If I were charged with a serious crime would I hire Michael Bishop?"

If you would not hire him as your attorney, why would you put him in charge of all the trials for all the felony cases in Oakland County for the next four years?

Otis M. Underwood and

Francis P. Hughes


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