(11/07/12) - Saginaw County will have a new prosecutor in January.
John McColgan, who defeated longtime incumbent Mike Thomas in the August Democratic primary, beat Republican challenger Matthew Frey on Tuesday.
McColgan says he wants assistant prosecutors to have more discretion in handling cases and he plans to ask another group to help solve the county's number one crime problem.
"It's rewarding, it's satisfying, gratified," McColgan said of his win while inside his wife's art gallery in Saginaw Township.
He says changes will be coming to the office. McColgan says he plans to be in the courtroom more often than the man he is replacing, Mike Thomas. And while he plans other changes too, here's one that's not on the list - the city of Saginaw contracting with the county for police services.
"I've been the city prosecutor for 20 years, city police are my police, I can't imagine the city not having its own force. I know budgets are tough," McColgan said.
With those budget realities in mind, he'll ask Saginaw pastors to help police and his office combat violent crime.
"What's been amazing to me, the faith-based community here in Saginaw, and how strong they are, and it hasn't computed in my brain why that faith-based community couldn't stamp out the evil forces that are among us," McColgan said.
"The prosecutor talked to us about that pre-election, and I'm happy he's talking about it after the election," said pastor Robert Davis.
Pastor Davis, who was very vocal in the aftermath of the Milton Hall shooting, says he and others are willing to help. "We have to start talking to these criminals, and crimes that speak to the negative of the city, to let them know we don't want that here," he said.
McColgan is the current prosecutor of the City of Saginaw and eight other municipalities. It's not clear who will take on those roles in January.
ABC12 Main Station