Snyder’s lawyers want AG’s office sanctioned over bankruptcy cases

Lansing –Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wants federal bankruptcy court to hold Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office in contempt of court, claiming confidential documents were leaked in connection with the Waters proceedings. Flint.

Snyder’s attorneys filed a motion Wednesday in the Eastern District of Michigan, asking a judge to impose penalties “appropriate to compel” the office to comply with 2013 court orders that demanded secrecy over the mediation of the Detroit bankruptcy.The filing raises concerns that privileged bankruptcy-related documents have been shared with other defendants and legal teams involved in the Flint lawsuit cases.

The mediation came at a time when Flint officials were on the verge of ending service with the Detroit water system in 2014 over concerns over tariffs that were too high. The Eastern District oversaw the mediation that led to the so-called “Grand Bargain” resolving the bankruptcy of Michigan’s largest city while Snyder was governor.

“Despite our repeated warnings to the Attorney General’s office regarding the improper disclosure of protected information, they have continued with reckless abandonment and now appear to have violated not only attorney-client privilege, attorney work product doctrine and executive privilege, but also the federal court of confidentiality orders related to the bankruptcy of Detroit, “Snyder’s attorney, Brian Lennon said Wednesday.

Courtney Covington Watkins, spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, said the filing appeared “to be part of an ongoing strategy of distraction by the defense.”

“We look forward to addressing these concerns in court so that we can prosecute those responsible for the Flint Water crisis,” she said.

In January, Nessel’s office laid 41 charges against nine state and city officials, including Snyder, over allegations relating to the lead-tainted water crisis that resulted from the change in source of Flint Water on April 25, 2014. A single judge grand jury in Genesee County that operated in secret signed Flint’s charges.

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