"It's a mess": Snyder attorney describes discovery process in former governor's criminal case

Jun 16, 2021
Originally published on June 15, 2021 1:51 pm

Former Governor Rick Snyder’s defense attorney says its “outrageous” that prosecutors have not given him all the evidence in Snyder’s Willful Neglect of Duty case.

Snyder was charged in January with two misdemeanor counts related to the Flint water crisis.   

The former governor could face a year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine on each count if convicted. He’s entered pleas of not guilty to the charges.

Snyder among nine people charged with crimes ranging from Willful Neglect of Duty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the government’s handling of the water crisis.     

Since January, Snyder’s defense team has waited as millions of documents of evidence presented to the grand jury is laboriously vetted before it’s shared with the defense. 

Attorney Brian Lennon complains he’s received less than a quarter of those documents.

“This is a mess, your honor,” Lennon told District Court Judge William Crawford during a brief pre-trial hearing Tuesday.

Topping Lennon’s list of complaints is prosecutors have yet to supply a list of government witnesses. 

Assistant Attorney General Bryant Osikowicz defended the process of reviewing more than 20 million documents. 

“It’s not like you put them in a briefcase,” says Osikowicz. “It takes time.”

In another Flint water case, a federal bankruptcy court judge is holding a hearing Wednesday on a motion by Snyder’s attorneys to hold the Michigan Attorney General’s office in contempt.

They claim the AG’s office released confidential documents in court filings in that case.

Copyright 2021 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.