Powell to lead statewide prosecutors group

Melissa Powell

LANSING — Melissa Powell, Iron County prosecuting attorney, was unanimously elected as president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan at the annual conference business meeting.

PAAM was established in 1928 and is governed by a 14-member Board of Directors and the attorney general who represent Michigan’s 83 county prosecuting attorney offices. The primary purposes of the association are to promote equal justice in enforcing the state’s criminal laws and continuing the education of prosecuting attorneys and other law enforcement officials.

Mark Reene, Tuscola County prosecuting attorney and PAAM’s immediate past president, applauded the election of Powell.

“I know how seriously Melissa approaches her role as Iron County prosecuting attorney and know she will do the same as PAAM president,” Reen said. “She is objective, impartial and thoughtful when making the difficult decisions we are faced with on a daily basis. She will protect the rights of everyone who interacts with the criminal justice system. She will work tirelessly for crime victims. She has always been a strong voice for the Upper Peninsula. Our association is in extraordinarily good hands.”

Powell will work closely with her colleagues from around the state and will often make decisions on behalf of the association’s estimated 900 members.

“I am excited and proud to be elected as president of a nonpartisan association like PAAM that can truly make a difference in the criminal justice arena,” Powell said. “My focus will be to concentrate on making victims of crime whole by working with our partners to make sure they are receiving the restitution they are constitutionally owed. I know my sister and brother prosecutors will be diligent in helping us accomplish this. Attracting more attorneys to the field of prosecution and making our association more inclusive to minorities and supportive to assistant prosecutors are goals of mine as well. Lastly, I will make sure the Upper Peninsula and the issues we see often are always represented in everything that we do.”

Powell will serve a one-year term through August 2018. She has served as Iron County prosecuting attorney since 2006.