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Flint, MI– The attorneys for Former Gov. Rick Snyder and Flint’s Former Director of the Department of Public Works Howard Croft have filed motions to halt or slow the cases against them.
On Jan. 13, Snyder and Croft were each charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty for their involvement in the Flint Water Crisis. These counts are misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Snyder’s attorney, Brian Lennon, requested the judge dismiss the case, and put any pretrial deadlines on hold until a decision is made about dismissing the case.
Croft’s attorney, James White, is requesting the judge be disqualified from presiding over the case at all.
All of this has happened over the course of three days.
On Jan. 25, Brian Lennon, Snyder’s attorney, made a motion for the judge to “quash,” or dismiss, the case for being filed in the “improper venue,” and for what he said was a “lack of jurisdiction.”
During Snyder’s pretrial hearing on Jan. 19, Lennon said that the case was filed in the wrong county.
“The indictment is fatally flawed because it charged Gov. Snyder with crimes, allegedly, that occurred in Genesee County,” Lennon said during the Jan. 19 hearing. “These crimes, which are false but fatally flawed because they were charged in the wrong venue. At all times during the indictment, Gov. Snyder was at his office…in downtown Lansing.”
At the pretrial hearing, Lennon also inquired about the use of a “taint team,” a team not a part of the criminal investigation who reviews the collected evidence to determine whether any of it is privileged information.
He asked Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud about whether they had used such a team in their investigation, and she responded that they had not.
On Jan. 27, he filed a second motion where he wrote that this was a “breach of attorney-client privilege,” and argued that because of this, “tainted evidence” should be excluded from the case.
Because of all this, Lennon requested that all deadlines for the filing of pretrial motions in this case be put on hold until a decision is made on his motion to dismiss the case.
On Jan. 28, Croft’s attorney, James White, made a motion that Judge William Crawford II should be disqualified from serving as a judge on this case because he is a Flint resident, and was a Flint resident during the water crisis.
White’s motion states that by being a resident in the city, and owning residential property in Flint that received water from the Flint Water Treatment Plant, Crawford is “an alleged victim of Mr. Croft’s alleged” crime.
“It’s utterly impossible to expect an unbiased result if an arguable victim is also permitted to serve as the judge in his own case,” White said in a press release. “Yet that is precisely what is happening here. As a Flint property owner, it’s totally inappropriate for Judge Crawford to adjudicate a case whose outcome might directly benefit Flint property owners, including himself.”
They both pleaded not guilty to their charges during their arraignments, and their bonds were each set at $20,000.