Judge Gets New Job While Ex-Gov. Snyder Awaits Key Decision

FILE - Then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Jan. 23, 2018. A judge who was expected to make a major decision in a Flint water case against the former governor has been promoted to federal court, leaving him and his defense team to wonder what's next. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)
FILE - Then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Jan. 23, 2018. A judge who was expected to make a major decision in a Flint water case against the former governor has been promoted to federal court, leaving him and his defense team to wonder what's next. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

DETROIT (AP) — A judge who was expected to make a major decision in a Flint water case against former Gov. Rick Snyder has been promoted to federal court, leaving him and his defense team to wonder what's next.

Genesee County Judge F. Kay Behm was approved Tuesday by the U.S. Senate to become a federal judge in eastern Michigan.

Snyder's lawyers had asked Behm to dismiss misdemeanor charges against him, after the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously said indictments by a one-person grand jury were invalid.

Behm heard arguments six weeks ago, on Oct. 26, but hadn't released a decision while her nomination as federal judge was pending. State prosecutors want to simply restart the process by having Snyder’s indictment sent back to District Court and turned into a common criminal complaint.

Another judge overseeing Flint water felony charges against seven people thoroughly rejected that approach and dismissed their cases on Oct. 4.

Behm's staff said she signed orders in many cases this week.

“I don't know if that's one of them. I'm going as fast as I can,” administrative secretary Denise Churchill said Thursday.

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.

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