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Solicitor General Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Worthy Provide Flint Criminal Update

FLINT - February has been a month of victories for the people of Flint as prosecutors continue their efforts to bring nine defendants to justice for their role in the Flint Water Crisis, Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced today.  

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Kelly denied a motion filed by defendant Nick Lyon and joined by defendants Richard Baird, Nancy Peeler, Gerald Ambrose, and Eden Wells, to dismiss all charges. In the motion, the defense attorneys attacked the legitimacy of the one-man grand jury which resulted in the current charges brought against the defendants.   Judge Kelly addressed the issue in her order saying, "...Defendant asserts that the one-person grand jury's constitutionality is an unsettled question.  However, decades of Michigan Supreme Court precedent establish otherwise," said Judge Kelly. 

Judge Kelly also stated, "...all of Defendant's arguments fail (1) because MCL 767.3 and MCL 767.4 confer charging authority upon the one-person grand juror, (2) because the one-person grand jury system does not violate the separation of powers doctrine, and (3) the one-person grand jury does not violate due process.  Therefore, Defendant has failed to state a claim for which relief may be granted." 

That order is available on the Department of Attorney General website

"Despite repeated attempts by the defense to discredit not only our legal strategy, but also our entire team, both have been vindicated by this ruling," Worthy said.   

"I hope the people of Flint see this ruling for what it is, a true victory for them.  Our team is confident in our methods and committed to the pursuit of justice for those impacted by the water crisis," Hammoud added. 

Despite repeated attacks from the defendants, both Hammoud and Worthy have stood by the use of the one-man grand jury and the resulting indictments. This ruling deals yet another blow to the repeated claims of illegitimacy and impropriety made by the defendants.  

In another recent win for the prosecution team, Judge Kelly ruled against a motion to intervene from defendant Richard Snyder. The prosecution objected to the former governor's attempt to insert himself into the circuit court proceedings.     

In her order, Judge Kelly characterized defendant Snyder's motion as unnecessary. "The Court sees no reason for continuous involvement or briefings in these criminal actions under a motion to intervene, as the Proposed Intervenor has his own pending action and may address his concerns there," wrote Kelly.  

That ruling is also now available online

The criminal charges were first announced last year. The nine defendants were indicted on the following: 

Jarrod Agen 

  • One count of perjury - a 15-year felony   

Gerald Ambrose 

  • Four counts of misconduct in office - each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine 

Richard Baird 

  • One count of perjury - a 15-year felony 
  • One count of official misconduct in office - a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine 
  • One count of obstruction of justice - a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine 
  • One count of extortion - a 20-year felony and/or $10,000 fine 

Howard Croft 

  • Two counts of willful neglect of duty - each a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine  

Darnell Earley  

  • Three counts of misconduct in office - each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine  

Nicolas Lyon   

  • Nine counts of involuntary manslaughter - each a 15-year felony and/or $7,500 fine  
  • One count of willful neglect of duty - a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine  

Nancy Peeler 

  • Two counts of misconduct in office - each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine 
  • One count of willful neglect of duty - a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine 

Richard Snyder 

  • Two counts of willful neglect of duty - each a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine 

Eden Wells 

  • Nine counts of involuntary manslaughter - each a 15-year felony and/or $7,500 fine 
  • Two counts of misconduct in office - each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine 
  • One count of willful neglect of duty - a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine 

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General's office does not provide photos of defendants.