Energy & Environment

Court denies former Michigan governor’s attempt to dismiss charges over Flint

A Michigan judge on Thursday denied a motion to dismiss charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in connection with the contamination of water in the city of Flint.

Judge William Crawford of the 67th District Court denied Snyder’s attorneys’ motion to dismiss, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s (D) office. Snyder’s defense team had argued the grand jury that indicted the former governor did not have jurisdiction to indict, which Crawford ruled “lacks merit.”

Snyder’s defense had argued the charges could only be brought in Ingham County, where his office was located. Crawford said in his ruling that he could not rule out the possibility of evidence indicating Genesee County, where Flint is located, was the proper venue.

“There are a number of instances in state law where venue is appropriate in more than one county,” the judge wrote.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy praised the ruling.

“The defense has said that ‘neglecting a city is not a crime.’ On behalf of the citizens of Flint, we vehemently disagree with the notion that public officials are entitled to show little regard for the health and safety of the people they are elected to serve,” Worthy said in a statement.

The grand jury indicted Snyder in January on two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty. He was one of nine people charged in January in connection with the city’s water crisis.

Other defendants in the case include former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services head Nicolas Lyon, former Michigan Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells and former Flint emergency manager Gerald Ambrose.

The contamination of Flint’s water, which began in 2014 after the state allowed the Flint River to supply the city’s water, has been linked to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that killed 12 people.

Tags dana nessel Flint Kym Worthy Rick Snyder

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