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Snyder aide files intent to sue over “malicious” Flint prosecution

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

One of the chief targets of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s failed Flint water prosecutions has filed a notice that he intends to sue.

Richard Baird was a senior advisor to then-Governor Rick Snyder and led the state’s response to the Flint water crisis. Baird’s attorney filed a required notice this week with the Michigan Court of Claims that he intends to seek damages of $2.8 million dollars or more for malicious prosecution, abuse of process and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The letter specifically names Nessel and former Chief Deputy Attorney General Fadwa Hammoud as well as the state of Michigan.

The notice says Nessel and Hammoud should not have employed a one-person grand jury – which combines the roles of judge and prosecutor to approve criminal charges.

“In doing so, they denied me due process and other rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution,” said Baird’s filing.

The charges against Baird and other defendants were all dismissed in June of 2022 after the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the use of the single-person grand jury to issue the indictments.

The notice of intent to sue was filed with the Michigan Court of Claims last month. The notice is a requirement to alert the target of the intended legal action and also serves as an invitation to negotiate a settlement.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment.

“As a general rule, the Department does not comment on notices of intent to sue,” said Nessel Press Secretary Danny Wimmer in an email to Michigan Public Radio.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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