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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Former Gov. Snyder & four others will argue for their right to "take the Fifth" before a federal appeals court in July

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio

A federal appeals court has scheduled a hearing for five former government officials seeking to plead the fifth to avoid testifying during a Flint water crisis civil trial.

Former Governor Rick Snyder, former Snyder aide Rich Baird, former Flint emergency managers Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Early and former Flint city official Howard Croft don’t want to testify in open court.

On the stand Monday, Croft told the judge in the Flint bellwether trial he would invoke his right against self-incrimination if called to testify.

The five men are all facing criminal charges related to their handling of the Flint water crisis.

Since all five did not invoke their Fifth Amendment right during pre-trial depositions for the bellwether trial before they were indicted, U.S. District Judge Judith Levy said they could not use it now.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments on their appeal. A three judge panel in Cincinnati, Ohio will preside over a court hearing on the appeal July 28.

Meanwhile, the Flint water civil trial continues.

The case involves a lawsuit on behalf of four Flint children exposed to the city’s contaminated against two engineering firms (Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam) hired as consultants on Flint water system.

Attorneys for two firms maintain they bear no responsibility for Flint’s water crisis.

The plaintiffs are expected to wrap up their case next week.

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