FLINT, MI – A judge’s review of documents that were presented to a one-man grand jury is nearing completion, paving the way for a potentially faster move in the trial of former Governor Rick Snyder and of eight other people charged with crimes related to the flint water crisis.
Circuit Chief Justice Genesee Duncan Beagle told lawyers this week involved in the cases that he plans to complete his review of all grand jury files by July 7, freeing water prosecutors to publish cases as part of the discovery process in individual criminal cases.
Under state court rules, Beagle is required to review grand jury records that have been presented by water attorneys and publish records that may be relevant to their cases.
In February, Beagle ordered that the grand jury files and the transcripts of 45 witnesses in the Flint cases be turned over to him for in-chamber review to decide which files should be turned over for discovery in the cases, seven of which are crimes and in proceeding before Circuit. Judge Elizabeth A. Kelly.
Snyder and former Flint Public Works Department Director Howard Croft were charged with misdemeanors in Genesee District Court.
Lawyers for the present and former town of Flint and state employees who have been accused of allowing the water crisis to occur and continue complained as recently as the pace of the discoveries last week, during which prosecutors handed over evidence that could be used at trial.
Lawyers for Snyder and the attorney general said around 4 million documents were disclosed by Flint Water prosecutors through a preliminary investigation into the criminal proceedings. They said there were still around 17 million more documents expected to be released.
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