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Attorney: Former Gov. Snyder charged in wrong county for Flint water crisis

Caroline Llanes
Michigan Radio

During a court hearing Tuesday, the attorney representing former Gov. Rick Snyder argued that he shouldn’t face charges in Genesee County related to the Flint water crisis.

In April 2014, Flint’s municipal drinking water source was switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River. Improperly treated river water damaged pipes.   The pipes leached lead into the city’s drinking water.   Tens of thousands of Flint residents were exposed to high levels of lead and other contaminants before the water source was switched back in October 2015.  

Snyder is one of nine people facing new charges in connection with crisis. The former Republican governor was indicted by a Genesee County judge who sat as a grand juror and considered evidence presented by prosecutors.

Eight are former state and city officials.  One is a current state health department employee, who is now on paid leave. 

The former governor is facing two misdemeanor counts of Willful Neglect of Duty. But attorney Brian Lennon argues Snyder’s indictment is “fatally flawed” since it claims Snyder’s alleged crimes occurred in Genesee County.

“At all times during the indictment, Gov. Snyder was at his office in the Romney building in downtown Lansing,” argues Lennon.

The defense wants the state to dismiss the indictment.  There was no response from prosecutors.

The issue is one of many being discussed by prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case. They are due back in court next month.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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