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Former Grand Traverse County Jail Administrator Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges

LANSING – The former Grand Traverse County Jail administrator accused of misconduct in office, embezzlement and other crimes pleaded guilty today to several of the offenses. 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office in August filed multiple charges against Todd Ritter, 48, of Lake Ann, for crimes he committed while serving as administrator of the northern Lower Peninsula county jail. 

Ritter pleaded guilty today in 13th Circuit Court to: 

  • Embezzlement by a public official over $50, a 10-year felony;
  • Misconduct in office, a five-year felony; and
  • Willful neglect of duty, a one-year misdemeanor. 

Additional felony charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and larceny in a building were dismissed as part of the plea. 

“Elected officials and those employed with taxpayer money answer to the same justice system as everyone else, regardless of position or job title,” Nessel said. “Public servants are not exempt from prosecution and I am committed to aggressively enforcing Michigan’s laws to ensure those who break them are held accountable.” 

Ritter was put on administrative leave by the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office in April 2019 after reports of his unprofessional conduct began surfacing. 

Michigan State Police led the investigation into the allegations following an internal review by outside legal consultants hired by the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office in May 2019. The Attorney General agreed in early April 2020 to review the case after a petition was submitted by the Grand Traverse County prosecutor, who requested the review to avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest.   

Ritter is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing at 11 a.m. Jan. 15.