KALAMAZOO, Mich. — St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough told a judge Tuesday that he was powerless over his addiction to alcohol.
McDonough, who is nearing the end of his term as county prosecutor, made those statements during a bond violation hearing Tuesday, Sept 29, 2020, before a visiting judge from Kalamazoo County. McDonough had been charged with two bond violations, both involving alcohol, which he was prohibited from using.
He was on bond due to a drunken-driving charge in St. Joseph County. He was charged following a May 11 crash in Lockport Township.
During Tuesday's hearing, McDonough pleaded guilty to one of the bond violations. The second one was dismissed. McDonough had waived his right to have a hearing on the bond violation charges. Also during the hearing, McDonough admitted he drank bourbon Aug. 7.
According to a Three Rivers Police incident report, the Three Rivers city manager told investigators that McDonough had fallen in his driveway because he was impaired. According to the incident report on Aug. 7, McDonough told paramedics that he had been drinking. Police reports also state that McDonough was caught on camera buying alcohol at least five times between Aug 4 and 14.
At Tuesday's hearing, McDonough said he will attend Alcoholics Anonymous seven days a week and will continue to seek an intensive outpatient treatment program.
During a Sept. 17 hearing, Kalamazoo County District Judge Vincent Westra had ordered McDonough to follow an alcohol abuse treatment plan and continue to attend meetings at least four times a week. McDonough had been ordered to wear a SCRAM unit, a tether-like device on the ankle that monitors alcohol use.
Westra said McDonough is tested for alcohol consumption multiple times a day.
"I'm certainly powerless over my addiction to alcohol, obviously I'm sitting here and have gone through inpatient treatment and have really destroyed the lives of people I care about the most. My life is unmanageable," McDonough told Judge Westra.
St. Joseph County prosecutors asked that McDonough seek inpatient treatment for his serious alcohol problem.
Westra said it appeared McDonough was compliant with treatment and did not order him to seek inpatient treatment.
"You're on the path. Stay on the path. There will be accountability. The degree of accountability is going to be determined in terms of how Mr. McDonough goes forward with treatment," Westra said.
McDonough was defeated handily in the Aug. 4 Republican primary by challenger David Marvin.