Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — He could be a tough guy when he needed to be, and over the years Antrim County prosecutor Charlie Koop sent a lot of people to jail.
But on the day the 63-year-old Koop died from what police called “health-related” causes last week, pretty much the first thing colleagues, friends and family wanted to talk about was his wit and wisdom.
Charlie Koop was one of the good guys.
In his 23 years as prosecutor, Koop developed a reputation as a straight shooter who connected with those victimized by crime. He was someone people turned to for advice and a wise word and, often enough, a good laugh.
David Leyton, president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, said Koop was bright and funny and “just a joy to be around.
“He was very popular among the elected prosecutors across the state, Leyton said. “We all gravitated toward Charlie.”
Koop served as association president in 2007 and 2008 and was actively involved as a board member.
Unlike so many other elected officials, Koop wasn’t afraid to speak his mind or take unpopular positions or speak frankly to the media. He didn’t shy away from tough topics but was also careful to look out for those who needed privacy and compassion.
Antrim County will find another prosecutor to enforce the law and serve the public.
But there won’t be another Charlie Koop.