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Attorneys: Ex-governor charged in incorrect county over Flint Water Disaster

by: ED WHITE and DAVID EGGERT Associated Press

Posted: Jan 19, 2021 / 8:23 AM ESTUpdated: Jan 19, 2021 / 8:23 am EST

Former Governor Rick Snyder remains silent as the media questions the media outside Genesee County Jail in downtown Flint, Michigan following his video indictment on charges related to the Flint water crisis on Thursday, January 14, 2021 ( Cody Scanlan / The Flint) Journal via AP)

LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s attorneys hit back, telling prosecutors Tuesday that the Flint Water case should be dismissed because it was indicted in the wrong county.

Snyder was charged with two willful misconduct last week. He was charged by a Genesee County judge who sat as a grand juror reviewing evidence presented by prosecutors.

“None of these allegations of impracticability or failure to act occurred while the former governor was in the city of Flint. At all times in the indictment, our client was the presiding governor of Michigan with the governor’s executive office in the Romney building in downtown Lansing, “Attorney Brian Lennon said in a letter to the prosecutor.

The letter was attached to a request for documents and other evidence from the prosecution, a typical defense step in criminal proceedings. Lennon stated in the letter that he will soon officially ask Judge William Crawford to dismiss the case against the former Republican governor.

  • This January 14, 2021 photo courtesy of the Flint, Michigan Sheriff’s Office of Genesee County shows former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Snyder has been charged with two offenses that were willful breach of duty. January 14, 2021 in connection with the Flint Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan (Genesee County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Snyder was one of nine people charged with a new investigation into the Flint water crisis. The disaster in the impoverished, largely black city has been described as an example of environmental injustice and racism.

The emergency manager appointed by Snyder used the Flint River as drinking water in 2014-15 without properly treating it to reduce corrosion. Lead from old pipes contaminated the system. Separately, the water has been blamed by some experts for the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, which killed at least 12 people in the area and fell ill dozens more.

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