Clapp excited to be back in Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office

BACK IN TOWN: Amy Clapp is the new Mecosta County Chief Assistant Prosecutor. She previously worked as an assistant prosecutor in Mecosta County from 2003 to 2009. (Pioneer photo/Emily Grove-Davis)

BACK IN TOWN: Amy Clapp is the new Mecosta County Chief Assistant Prosecutor. She previously worked as an assistant prosecutor in Mecosta County from 2003 to 2009. (Pioneer photo/Emily Grove-Davis)

BIG RAPIDS — Mecosta County’s new chief assistant prosecutor isn’t necessarily new. For Amy Clapp, the job is like coming home.

Fresh out of Michigan State University law school, Clapp worked as an assistant prosecutor for Mecosta County from 2003 to 2009. Many of the folks she’s now working with are the same people she saw each day years ago.

Walking these halls again have Clapp excited to go to the office each day. A grin is constantly on her face.

“I can’t stop smiling,” she said, beaming. “I love coming here. I walk around with a smile on my face because I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be – in this building and working with these people. I am so happy and excited that I just can’t stand it. It’s been great.”

When Clapp left the Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office in 2009, she went to work as one of nine prosecuting attorneys in Allegan County until May 2014. From there, she worked as a defense attorney in Allegan.

Being a defense attorney allowed Clapp to take a different look at cases and helped her evolve into the prosecuting attorney she is today.

“I’m glad I had that opportunity,” she said. “It’s important for a prosecutor to have that and be able to look at both sides because we aren’t here to represent one side. We’re here to find justice and that means looking at both sides to determine what is truth and what is just.”

Mecosta County Prosecutor Brian Thiede knew Clapp had the skills for the job, along with her prior history in and out of the county, which made her a great candidate for the job.

“It really made it an easy decision,” Thiede said. “She has that balance of having been here and experience with how we do things, along with adding outside perspective from other opportunities.”

With a love of arguing, researching, writing and being in the courtroom becoming an attorney was a natural fit for Clapp. Combine all that with the fact her father retired from the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, she was destined to be a prosecuting attorney, Clapp said.

“I remember in third grade the teacher asking everyone what they wanted to be when they grew up and I said a prosecuting attorney,” she said. “Not just an attorney, a prosecuting attorney. I’ve always wanted to be a prosecutor.”

As the chief assistant prosecutor for Mecosta County, Clapp’s focus will be criminal sexual conduct and domestic violence cases.

“I feel very strongly about giving a voice to victims and respecting victims through the process because it’s a very intimidating process, all while keeping justice and truth seeking the main concern,” she said. “When I talk about justice, I’m not talking about just for the victims, but also the people of Mecosta County.”

While she isn’t a fan of her commute from Byron Center and hopes to move to the area soon, Clapp couldn’t be more grateful to have the job of Mecosta County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

“I feel really fortunate to be in this office,” she said. “We all work well together and I’m just so glad to be back.”

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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