Pre-Trial hearing held in Flint Water Case against Gov. Snyder, defense asks for dismissal

Michigan

Former Gov. Rick Snyder stays silent as barrage of media asks questions after his video arraignment on charges related to the Flint water crisis, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 outside the Genesee County Jail in downtown Flint, Mich. (Cody Scanlan/The Flint Journal via AP)

FLINT, Mich. (WLNS)— A pre-trial hearing is being held in the case against Ex-Governor Rick Snyder, and allegations made against him in the Flint Water Crisis.

During the hearing, Attorneys for former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder told prosecutors Tuesday that the Flint water case should be dismissed because he was charged in the wrong county.

Snyder was charged last week with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty. He was indicted by a Genesee County judge who sat as a grand juror and considered the evidence presented by prosecutors.

“Neither of these allegations of non-feasance, or failure to act, occurred while the former Governor was in the City of Flint. At all times set forth in the Indictment, our client was the presiding governor of the State of Michigan with the Executive Office of the Governor located at the Romney Building in downtown Lansing,” attorney Brian Lennon said in a letter to prosecutors obtained by the Associated Press.

The letter was attached to a request for documents and other evidence possessed by prosecutors, a typical step by the defense in a criminal case. Lennon indicated in the letter that he soon would formally ask Judge William Crawford to dismiss the case against the former Republican governor.

Snyder was one of nine people charged in a new investigation of the Flint water crisis. The catastrophe in the impoverished, majority-Black city has been described as an example of environmental injustice and racism.

If convicted, Snyder faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“What happened in Flint should never have happened,” said Governor Whitmer. “From my first month in office, Attorney General Nessel and I made it clear to our teams that even though we inherited this situation, it was our responsibility to achieve the best possible settlement for the children and families of Flint. While this settlement will never be enough to compensate for what happened, it is a major step toward helping the people of Flint heal. I want to thank Senators Ananich and Stamas for sponsoring these bipartisan bills. This is another example of both parties working together to protect the people of our state.”

In the video below find see the full press conference held by Michigan Attorney General’s office last week, releasing details on the investigation into the Flint Water Crisis.

The city, under Snyder-appointed emergency managers, used the Flint River for drinking water in 2014-15 without properly treating it to reduce corrosion. Lead from old pipes contaminated the system. Separately, the water was blamed by some experts for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which killed at least 12 people in the area and sickened dozens more.

<<<The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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