Former Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder (R) and four others will be required to testify in a civil trial related to the Flint water crisis.
US District Court Judge Judith E. LevyOne Barack Obama appointee, dismissing a proposal to cancel a subpoena to testify that had been made by Snyder, his former adviser Richard Bairdformer Director of Public Works Flint Howard Croftand former city emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose.
The lawsuit was filed by four individuals who were children at the time of the Flint water crisis. They named the engineering firms Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam along with numerous individuals, including Snyder, for their alleged roles in the crisis that resulted in the plaintiffs’ exposure to lead and other contaminants in drinking water in 2014 and 2015.
Civil claims against Snyder and other individuals reached settlement after the defendants joined the deposits, but claims against the engineering firms continue.
All five former officials are also facing crime in the water crisis. Snyder was charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty under Michigan law, each punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000.
In the civil case, Snyder and others argued that they should not be required to testify because they would only invoke their constitutional rights against self-incrimination. Their arguments might have worked if they hadn’t brought up the lengthy terms in another case before their criminal charges.
In the 21-page order, Judge Levy rejected the defendants’ request to have the subpoenas dismissed, arguing that because Snyder and others voluntarily answered questions about the demotion, they did not have the “immunity” comprehensive exclusion” for questioning at trial. Levy explains:
Despite their apparent perception of the risk of criminal prosecution, the ICD – like other motives – ultimately chose to answer every question posed to them upon filing without invoking the Amendment. Fifth sentence the right to resist self-incrimination. Snyder, who participated in litigation during the time these arguments were made by [the defendants]There will be notice of these matters and the decisions of the Court.
The lawsuit aims to hold engineering companies accountable for providing improper advice that resulted in contaminated water in the drinking water supply. The companies deny wrongdoing.
Judge Levy approved a $626 million settlement last November against government entities, a hospital and another engineering firm.
Attorneys for the parties did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
[image via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images]
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https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/federal-judge-rules-former-michigan-governor-rick-snyder-and-four-others-must-testify-in-flint-water-crisis-case/ Rick Snyder, Others Must Testify in Flint Water Case: Judge