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Judge closes Flint water case against former Michigan governor

A judge on Monday formally dismissed misdemeanor charges against former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in the Flint water scandal and ordered that police records and his booking photo be destroyed.

The dismissal was expected, weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court turned down a last-gasp appeal from state prosecutors and ended criminal cases against him and many others.

Snyder, a Republican who left office in 2019, was charged with willful neglect of duty. He was the first person in state history to be charged for alleged crimes related to service as governor.

The dismissal order, signed by Judge William Crawford, tells authorities to destroy records related to Snyder's initial processing by police in 2021, including fingerprints and booking photo. Assistant Attorney General Chris Kessel also signed the court filing.

Criminal cases against Snyder and eight others collapsed when the state Supreme Court in 2022 said a one-judge grand jury was improperly used by the attorney general's office to bring charges.

Flint’s water became tainted with lead after city managers appointed by Snyder began using the Flint River in 2014 to save money while a new pipeline to Lake Huron was built. The water wasn’t treated to reduce its corrosive qualities, causing lead to break off from old pipes and contaminate the system for more than a year.

The attorney general's office in October said it would release a report about its investigation of Snyder and other officials. Snyder's legal team plans to issue its own report.

“Then the people of Flint can quickly decide for themselves who lied to them and who is telling them the truth,” defense attorney Brian Lennon said Monday.