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Charges in film studio case dismissed

Michigan’s attorney general is considering an appeal in a case against two men involved in a project to convert an old GM plant located in Walker into a film studio.

Joe Peters and Jack Buchanan Jr. tried to get $10 million in state film incentives for a big studio project. But the film office rejected their application and the deal fell through. They got no taxpayer money.

Since then, Michigan’s attorney general has filed chargesclaiming the two men falsely inflated the price of the old plant to try to get more money.

After two days of hearings last week the judge dismissed the case. He said the state didn’t have enough evidence. The state could appeal that decision but defense attorney Chip Chamberlain doesn’t expect that because he says there’s no proof the defendants made a false statement.

“I can’t imagine them finding a single piece of evidence that we haven’t reviewed. It’s just not there. They can look all they want.”

A representative from the attorney general’s office says they still consider the deal suspicious. The state has 21 days to decide to appeal.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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