State AG office to handle Diamond Lake Party case

CASS COUNTY — The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has agreed to review the case of a Fourth of July party hosted at Diamond Lake in Cass County and handle any related prosecutions.

The Fourth of July party made national headlines after video of the event went viral, many criticizing the party-goers for disregarding COVID-19 guidelines by failing to wear masks or social distance.

Following the party, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office announced it was forwarding all possible charges to the prosecutor’s office.

Cass County Sheriff Richard Behnke said the party has grown over the years to become “a hardship for the community.” He said concerns include partygoers parking on private property, excessive drinking, underaged drinking, public indecency, unsafe boating, public order, and the lake’s public access becoming “overwhelmed with cars, trash and human defecation.”

Tuesday afternoon, the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office announced that it had requested Michigan Department of Attorney General for the appointment of a special prosecutor to review the matters due to a standing conflict of interest. According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Hubbert, the Cass County prosecutor has a longstanding affiliation with one of the impacted lake associations.

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