By Sara Powers

DETROIT (AP) — A judge on Thursday ordered Flint water prosecutors to stop distributing documents that were declared confidential during Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Judge Thomas Tucker also told lawyers for former Gov. Rick Snyder to show him a portion of the records that have been circulated by the attorney general’s office.

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The bankruptcy judge’s order came a day after Snyder’s team asked him to declare Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office in civil contempt and order penalties for the document disclosure. Tucker, however, wants to read and learn more.

Armed with a search warrant in 2019, prosecutors in the attorney general’s office obtained documents from computer servers used by other state attorneys who had represented Snyder in civil matters related to Flint’s lead-contaminated water.

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The search apparently swept up sensitive documents from the Detroit bankruptcy as well as attorney-client communications of other state officials, Snyder attorney Charles Ash said. Snyder’s administration had a role in making deals that allowed the city to emerge from bankruptcy.

The records were given to other people charged with crimes in the Flint water scandal because prosecutors have an obligation to share documents with defense lawyers.

Snyder, who served as governor until 2019, faces misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty in Flint.


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