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Flint Prosecution Team Receives Win in Court

LANSING – A Genesee County district court judge today denied a motion to dismiss criminal charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder in connection with the Flint water crisis. 

Reading his ruling from the bench, Judge William Crawford II of the 67th District Court, denied the defense’s motion to quash for lack of jurisdiction and improper venue.  Specifically, Crawford stated that the defendant’s argument that the grand juror did not have jurisdiction to issue the indictment “lacks merit”. The judge seemed to agree that it is the prosecution’s burden to establish venue beyond a reasonable doubt and disagreed with the defendant’s argument that, as a matter of law, the charged offenses, neglect of duty, can only be charged in Ingham County.  

Crawford’s ruling was viewed as a win for the prosecution team led by Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.  “Today’s ruling is a small victory for the people of Flint who patiently await their day in court,” said Hammoud.  “This ruling affirms what our team has argued from the beginning: that the use of the grand jury to investigate and bring charges against Mr. Snyder and others as part of the Flint water crisis was proper.”  

“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,” said Worthy. 

In January, a grand jury indicted Snyder on two counts of willful neglect of duty, each a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to a $1,000.  The grand jury issued a total of 41 indictments against Snyder and eight other individuals as part of the investigation into the Flint water crisis.

Click here to view a copy of Crawford’s ruling.

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.