Defense seeks state sanctions in Flint Water case
DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers for Michigan‘s former health director asked a judge on Monday to sanction prosecutors who are trying to instantly turn invalid indictments into a new set of charges in the scandal. Flint Water.
It’s the latest salvo since Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled in June that a one-person grand jury lacks the power under state law to dismiss evidence. charge against Nick Lyon, former Governor Rick Snyder and seven others.
The attorney general’s office insists the indictments can simply be reinstated as common criminal complaints in Genesee County. This request from prosecutors is pending.
“The Solicitor General urges this court to wave a magic wand. … This is a court, not Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and this court should not engage in the practice of witchcraft,” lawyers Chip Chamberlain and Britt Cobb wrote in a filing, referring to the Harry Potter books.
A judge has set a September 13 hearing for Lyon and others. Snyder will face another judge on August 23.
These will be the first hearings since the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled the indictments invalid.
Lyon’s legal team said state prosecutors should be disciplined for a “frivolous” attempt to salvage the cases. He and former medical director Eden Wells were charged with manslaughter for deaths in the Flint area related to Legionnaires’ disease when the city used the Flint River.
Some experts believe bacteria in the water contributed to an outbreak. Lyon and Wells have been accused of not doing enough to warn the public in a timely manner.
Snyder was charged with misdemeanors.
Managers appointed by Snyder stopped using water from a Detroit supplier in 2014 and tapped the Flint River. But the corrosive water was not properly treated and the lead from the old pipes contaminated the system.
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A judge has scheduled a hearing for September 13. Another judge assigned to the Snyder case set a