No. 120461 No. 120453

FILED JUNE 18, 2003







At common law, misconduct in office was defined as

“corrupt behavior by an officer in the exercise of the duties

of his office or while acting under color of his office.”

People v Coutu, 459 Mich 348, 354; 589 NW2d 458 (1999)(Coutu

I), quoting Perkins & Boyce, Criminal Law (3d ed), p 543. An

officer could be convicted of misconduct in office (1) for

MCL 750.505 provides:

Any person who shall commit any indictable

offense at the common law, for the punishment of

which no provision is expressly made by any statute

of this state, shall be guilty of a felony,

punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not

more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than

$10,000.00, or both in the discretion of the court.

committing any act which is itself wrongful, malfeasance, (2)

for committing a lawful act in a wrongful manner, misfeasance,

or (3) for failing to perform any act that the duties of the

office require of the officer, nonfeasance. Perkins, p 540.

However, committing nonfeasance or acts of malfeasance or

misfeasance are not enough to constitute misconduct in office.

In the case of malfeasance and misfeasance, the offender also

must act with a corrupt intent, i.e., with a "sense of

depravity, perversion or taint." See Perkins, p 542. See

also People v Coutu (On Remand), 235 Mich App 695, 706; 599

NW2d 556 (1999)(Coutu II). In the case of nonfeasance, an

offender must willfully neglect to perform the duties of his

office. Perkins, p 547.

Michigan Supreme Court Decision.pdf.doc

definition of depravity 1. Moral corruption or degradation.

definition of taint  v 3. To corrupt morally. n 1. A moral defect considered as a stain or spot.


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