Prosecutor honored for 15 years of service.

February 15, 2018

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon receives his 15-year service award from PAAM President Melissa Powell.

Prosecutor honored for 15 years of service.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon was honored recently by the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan for his 15 years of service.

Bizon received a plaque from PAAM President Melissa Powell, who is the prosecutor in Iron County, during a midwinter conference last week in Traverse City.

Bizon has been a prosecutor in Oceana County for 11 years, first serving as assistant prosecutor for four years under former Prosecutor Terry Shaw. He was elected as prosecutor in 2012.

The prosecutor had been the assistant prosecutor in Manistee County four years prior to coming to Oceana County.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1998 and obtained his law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law in 2002.

He completed internships with the City of Flint, Calhoun County and the state Attorney General’s Office.

Bizon (right) prosecuting the Edward Morpeth case. Morpeth, at left, and Morpeth’s attorney John Greer (center) are also pictured.

During his career in Oceana County, Bizon has prosecuted two murder cases, including the high-profile case of former Hart City Councilman Timothy Shannon, who drowned his wife Lee-Ann in a bathtub. He prosecuted criminal sexual conduct cases that resulted in long-term prison sentences, such as the 2015 conviction of Edward Morpeth of Montague. Morpeth, who is now 61 years old, received a 14-60 year prison term and is not eligible for parole until 2029.

It’s a high-stress job, but Bizon enjoys the challenge. “Every case is serious,” he said.

It can also be challenging to perform such a prominent position that the public is quick to criticize without understanding how the legal system works.

“We don’t make the laws,” he said. “We are the executive branch, and we utilize the tools given to us by our legislator.”

However, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. “Fighting for the victims” is something he enjoys most. “Helping people is very rewarding.”

“We just try to work hard every day. We have to balance what is an appropriate level of punishment with what is just.”

In addition to his busy schedule in the courtrooms, Bizon takes time to volunteer in the community as a scout leader and a soccer and basketball coach.

“I really enjoy serving my community.”

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