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Edenville Dam owner misled the public, says Michigan court


A Michigan court has issued an order stating the owner of the Edenville Dam misled the public. The dam failed in May of 2020 and caused historic flooding in Midland County.

The court said the dam owner did not inform the state that the structure could not operate safely with the water levels at the time.

The order also sanctions the owner, Lee Mueller, for withholding most of the documents relating to the case.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office said in a press release that the court action drives “a stake through the heart” of Mueller’s fiction, and was critical to establishing the truth in the case.

Mueller said in a statement through his attorney that the attorney general "exonerates the State from all culpability for the breach of the Edenville Dam was authored entirely by none other than the State of Michigan Attorney General’s Office. Thus, it was not the result of a rigorous adversarial process of evidentiary cross examination by the parties and sentient fact finding by the Court, either at the pretrial or trial stages of the WDMI litigation. Frankly, this case is not even midway through the discovery period, and no evidentiary record, except for this sanctions order, has been established.  But the court order assures that no trial will be necessary. "

He added: "The Court found virtually irrelevant this individual Defendant’s lack of financial and human resources, following the Boyce bankruptcy and State condemnation of all its property, rendering him unable to hire the expert personnel needed in this complex dam breach litigation...This order reflects not the administration of justice, but rather, the administration of the Court’s calendar. It is truly a sad day in America."

Ben Jodway is an intern, serving as a reporter for WCMU Public Media and the Pioneer in Big Rapids. He has covered Indigenous communities and political extremism in Michigan.