Flint water prosecution to pursue case with warrants

Jarrod Agen, former Director of Communications and former Chief of Staff of the Executive...
Jarrod Agen, former Director of Communications and former Chief of Staff of the Executive Office of Gov. Rick Snyder is charged with one count of perjury – a 15-year felony.(Office of Genesee County Sheriff)
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 12:43 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - The prosecution against a defendant charged in the Flint water crisis plans to pursue the case with warrants, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

A motion to dismiss a charge against a former chief of staff and director of communications for Rick Snyder, Jarrod Agen, who has been charged for his role in the Flint water crisis was denied.

The prosecution said it intends to proceed on the warrant issued against Agen by the one-man grand juror.

Agen filed the motion to dismiss the charge before Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Kelly. Agen has been charged with one count of perjury, a 15-year felony.

In June, the Michigan Supreme Court used the Flint criminal prosecution case to consider if Michigan’s one-man grand jury process could issue indictments and bypass the requirement for a preliminary examination.

The one-man grand jury process is a statutory prosecutorial tool used in the state for decades to issue indictments in cases where extraordinary circumstances need to be confidential.

The Michigan Supreme Court found the one-man grand jury could not issue indictments and eliminate the requirement for preliminary exams.

However, the court did recognize the one-man grand jury could start criminal proceedings by issuing a warrant when probable cause was found.

Prosecutors made it clear the one-man grand jury process used in their case included the issuance of warrants.

“So, while this court must dismiss the Indictment to the extent it functions as a formal indictment that bypasses a preliminary examination, the appropriate next step is then to remand this matter to the district court for preliminary examination, in accordance with MCL 767.4 and Peeler,” the prosecution stated. “Again, this is because the warrant still exists, and that warrant was properly issued by the one-person grand jury.

“Defendant Agen, as do other defendants in the Flint water cases, improperly conflates the dismissal of an indictment and the dismissal of a case in its entirety.”

Hearings in front of Judge Kelly have been canceled to issue written rulings during the ongoing prosecution of the nine defendants for their roles in the Flint water crisis.

“The state supreme court issued its opinion on a legal process, not on the evidence in our case,” said Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud.  “We are confident that the evidence clearly supports the criminal charges in this case, and we will not stop until we have exhausted all possible options to secure justice for Flint.”