Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s (R) former chief of staff, his former senior adviser and three other state and local officials lost their request for a preliminary examination that could have challenged if their judge-ordered indictments in connection with the Flint water catastrophe had been supported by probable cause.
The development highlights the gradual but steady rate of prosecution after lead-tainted water triggered a public health catastrophe in Flint, Michigan, exacerbated by official denials and supposedly criminal lies by people in power. The water problems are believed to have lasted roughly half a year, between 2014 and 2019.
“Despite continuing attempts by the defendants to postpone those scenarios, we won multiple rulings this week affirming our team’s work to bring these cases to examine,” Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud said in an announcement on Friday. “These successes are significant steps forward to deliver justice for the people of Flint.”
The first of these involved five criminal cases:
Jarrod Agen, Snyder’s ex-chief of employees and manager of communications, Who’s charged with a single count of perjury;
Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley, two ex-City of all Flint emergency supervisors, who face multiple counts of misconduct in office: three and four charges, respectively.
They’re one of 41 people charged in connection with the Flint water catastrophe, for example Snyder himself, who lost his own bid to throw the charges against him before this year in March.
Under Michigan law, people accused of crimes can seek a preliminary assessments to inspect the premise of an indictment under certain circumstances. Agen, who went on function former Vice President Mike Pence after Snyder, along with four of his co-defendants contested the simple fact that they were indicted by one judge rather than a taxpayer jury. The same debate failed for Snyder earlier Judge William Crawford II in March.
“Defendants attempt to complicate a problem which, in essence, is simple: if Defendants are eligible for preliminary assessments after being blindsided by a one-person jury. They aren’t,” Judge Kelly wrote in the conclusion of an 11-page judgment.
According to the judgment, those were indicted by 7th Circuit Court Judge David Newblatt, who was elected to his current position in 2004.
“Indictments issued by means of a one-person grand jury carries equal weight to indictments issued by a citizens’ grand jury,” Kelly wrote. “In both scenarios, indictments are issued by a grand jury after the finding of probable cause”
In a second triumph for prosecutors later in the week, Eden Wells–that the former Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service–was not allowed leave to appeal prior to Michigan’s intermediate court of review.
Michigan Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Mark J. Cavanagh refused Wells’s appeal in a one-sentence judgment on Wednesday.
Read the rulings below:
(Photo via SAUL LOEB of all AFP, via Getty Images)The post Judge Refuses Requests by Ex-Gov.