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Judge dismisses Flint water charges against Snyder

A Genesee County Circuit Court judge has ordered the dismissal of charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder related to the Flint water crisis, but Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Flint legal team vowed to appeal.

Judge F. Kay Behm on Wednesday ruled that a June Michigan Supreme Court ruling was controlling on Snyder’s case when the high court declared unconstitutional the use of a one-judge grand jury to charge the Flint defendants.

Snyder was charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty in January 2021 by a one-judge grand jury, along with eight other city and state officials, in relation to the Flint water crisis investigation by Nessel’s office.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Washington, Thursday, March 17, 2016, to look into the circumstances surrounding high levels of lead found in many residents' tap water in Flint, Michigan. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Snyder’s lawyer, Brian Lennon, hailed Behm’s decision in a Friday statement and criticized the attorney general’s “political persecution veiled in amateurish and unethical prosecutorial efforts.”

“The state has already wasted millions of taxpayer dollars pursuing meritless misdemeanor charges and this case should now be considered closed,” Lennon said. “The prosecution team’s statement saying it will appeal this ruling is further proof that they intend to continue their efforts to weaponize the court system against their political enemies.”