Badovinac begins tenure as new prosecutor


REED CITY — It's a coming home of sorts for new Osceola County Prosecutor Tony Badovinac.

Late last week, Badovinac was appointed 49th Circuit Court Judges Scott Hill-Kennedy and Kimberly Booher to fill the term of former prosecutor Tyler Thompson, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder as Probate Court judge for Osceola and Mecosta counties in October.

Badovinac, who spent the last four years as prosecuting attorney for Wexford County, took his oath of office Tuesday morning.

"I've always wanted to come back to Osceola County," he said Tuesday afternoon. "When you become a prosecutor, you have that drive inside you. I wanted to make sure to continue that."

Growing up on farms near Marion and Reed City, Badovinac said his life changed in the last year with the passing of his wife and father, and he decided to move back to the family homestead just outside Reed City. His youngest child also will be moving out this year, leaving him to work on the family farm.

"I'm at a different point in life right now," he said.

Being a prosecutor, Badovinac said, is always a challenge.

"You do not always please every person you meet in this position," he said. "You learn to roll with the punches."

With his experience from Wexford County fresh in his mind, Badovinac said he's well aware of what is going on around the region and hopes he can improve the quality of life for residents while performing his duties as prosecutor.

"North of here, drugs are a real problem for the people," he said. "I'm not a big fan of that at all.

"Property crimes are another issue I see quite a bit. There are many rural property owners, and I am one, who want to make sure their property is secure."

Other crimes Badovinac looks to keep a close eye on are cases of criminal sexual conduct and domestic violence.

"We also have a rising older population in this area and they want to remain in their homes," he said. "They also want to be safe in their homes."

Badovinac hopes through his public service to not only make a difference for residents of the county, but also make new friends.

"I have a lot of good friends and family in Osceola County already," he said. "That's what makes the job interesting is meeting new people. There are a lot of good, hardworking people here. There are a lot of farmers, and they are my kind of folks. I don't say that lightly. When you grow up in the country, it never really leaves you."

Badovinac says he always is eager to meet new people and has an open-door policy.

"I welcome anyone to stop by the office and I'll talk with them," he said.