Armed with more than 15 years of experience in the office, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Steve Pierangeli is the first to throw his hand into the air, announcing his candidacy for the office of Berrien County Prosecutor following the announced retirement last week of Mike Sepic from that job at the end of the year.
Pierangeli says having served in the Prosecutor’s Office for over 15 years, he is ready for the next step in his career to continue advocating for the people of Berrien County.
Growing up in a large family in Southfield, Michigan, Pierangeli says he fostered a love of service that still motivates his work today. While working for the county, Pierangeli has served in the adult criminal division, the juvenile division, and the neglect and abuse division. He has written appellate briefs for the Prosecutor’s Office and argued in front of the Michigan Supreme Court. Pierangeli was named Chief Trial Attorney in 2014 and Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney two years ago in 2018.
Pierangeli has successfully handled all types of cases from traffic tickets to homicides, often working on highly publicized and complex cases. He recently prosecuted a high-profile homicide of a United States Army Sergeant while home on leave in Berrien County.
Pierangeli also prosecuted multiple defendants in a complex sexual assault case involving social media and “sextortion.” It was the first time a case of that nature was prosecuted and taken to trial in Berrien County. He was also awarded the Mothers Against Drunk Driving David M. Schrieber Lifesaver Award by the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan for his efforts in the courtroom to keep the community safe.
Outside of his courtroom duties, Pierangeli is responsible for training assistant prosecutors in the office, managing office staff, strategic office planning and acting as a liaison between the Prosecutor’s Office and the Berrien County judiciary. Pierangeli instructs across the state on criminal law and trial techniques for the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. In addition, he teaches on constitutional law, criminal law, and courtroom testimony for the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department as well as courtroom testimony for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Pierangeli has also looked for productive, alternative avenues in the criminal justice system to promote community safety, having represented the Prosecutor’s Office while collaborating with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and the Berrien County judiciary in the development and implementation of the Berrien County Mental Health Court.
Pierangeli developed a program on Internet safety and cyberbullying for school-aged children and has presented the program to schools throughout the county. He also developed a similar program for adults on the topic of keeping children safe on the Internet and has presented that program at schools, churches, and service organizations around the county.
Pierangeli currently serves as the president-elect for the Berrien County Bar Association and previously served on the Association’s Professionalism Committee.
Pierangeli says that throughout his distinguished career, he has established a reputation as an honest, reliable, hard-working attorney with the experience, knowledge, and integrity to lead the Prosecutor’s Office. He has also developed relationships with, and earned the respect of, the local police agencies, the local judiciary, employees at the courthouse, and defense attorneys.
Outside of the office, Pierangeli stays active keeping up with four energetic children and his wife, Miranda, in St. Joseph. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Michigan. He also supports his children’s activities and the community by serving on the Saint Joseph Aquatics’ Board of Directors, volunteering in local elementary schools through the Junior Achievement program, and coaching AYSO soccer, youth hockey, and little league baseball throughout the last ten years. Pierangeli is a member of the Knights of Columbus at Saints John and Bernard Parish in Benton Harbor and a member of the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Kiwanis Club.
You can learn more about Steve and his campaign online by visiting: