Flint water prosecutors get 2 months to pore over 20 million documents

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FLINT (WJRT) (5/3/2019) - Nick Lyon is facing 4 charges in connection to the Flint water emergency. The Solicitor General had asked for a 6-month delay in the case against the state's former health director.

She explained the Flint Water Investigation team discovered unseen evidence in 23 boxes.

In a Genesee County circuit Courtroom Friday, Judge Joseph Farah told them it's time for midnight pizza and coca colas. He only granted them 2 months.

The Judge explained on June 14th, he'll announce his decision on the defense's motion to quash the felony charges against Lyon.

Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud told the Judge Friday they've only seen 1.5 million pages of evidence, but she believes there are 20 million documents. She explained a document could be 6,000 pages.

She said they don't have what they need because of who was the gate keeper.

"Warner Norcross, who represented then Governor Snyder and now represents former Governor Snyder in potential criminal matters, took the lead on orchestrating and directing all production of evidence, pertaining to all agencies," she said. "So, when we stated certain evidence was handed over by the attorney general, we have to be very clear that they were acting under the direction of the criminal defense firms hired by the different agencies."

Those agencies include the MDEQ, Department of Treasury, the Attorney General's Office and where Nick Lyon worked -- the MDHHS.

There's no indication yet Hammoud's team will find any evidence related to Lyon's charges in those 20 million documents they're searching for.

If they do, to bring it up in court, Hammoud said they'd have to ask for the case to return to district court.

So, the Judge says he'll move forward. He'll decide in June if the felony charges will be quashed and next week if the misdemeanor of 'willful neglect of duty' will be dismissed.

"They can find it out for themselves, but do it on their own time. Not Mr. Lyon's time," defense attorney Chip Chamberlain said. "It's gonna take months to get this case to trial; and we have a lot of legal issues between now and then, unfortunately for you. And, they can do their investigation while they get ready for trial. There's nothing to prevent that."

Hammoud said they will be or have already asked for a stay in every criminal case connected to the water emergency.



 
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