The former governor is charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty. The exact reasons for the charges are unclear since a judge has yet to release evidence presented to the one-man grand jury that issued the indictment.
But if Snyder’s lawyers are successful, the evidence against the governor will not be heard in a Flint courtroom.
During a court hearing Tuesday morning, defense attorney Brian Lennon argued that the one-man grand jury that issued the indictment against for the former governor lacked jurisdiction. Lennon also detailed the reasons why Snyder should not be facing trial in Genesee County.
“He was the 48th governor of the state of Michigan, not the mayor of Flint. His duties are to the people of the state, not to any city, township, county or region,” Lennon said.
Assistant Attorney General Bryant Osikowicz defended the grand jury’s jurisdiction to deliberate on evidence of alleged crimes. He also rejected the defense’s claims that former governor should face trial in Ingham County, since that’s where the governor’s office is located and he rejected the defense’s contention that as governor Snyder did not have a specific responsibility to the city of Flint.
“He did owe a duty to the city of Flint and its citizens. Especially after he wrested local control from the city when he appointed an emergency manager to rule over its affairs,” Osikowicz argued during the zoom hearing.
At the end of Tuesday’s hearing, District Court Judge William Crawford II said he’ll rule on the defense motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charges in seven days.
On Monday, a circuit court judge denied a similar defense request to dismiss a perjury charge against another Flint water crisis defendant.
In January, the Michigan Attorney General's office announced criminal charges against nine people in connection to the Flint water crisis.