Michigan AG to handle prosecutions from large Diamond Lake party

A large gathering at Diamond Lake in Cass County on July 4, 2020. (WOOD-TV) (WOOD-TV)

LAGRANGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The state Attorney General’s Office has agreed to handle the prosecution of any crimes stemming from a large party on a southwestern Michigan lake in which hundreds of people ignored state orders to wear masks or socially distance.

The Cass County Prosecutor’s Office asked the Attorney General's Office to appoint a special prosecutor after a viral video showed hundreds of people in swimsuits Saturday gathered at Diamond Lake, near Cassopolis in Cass County, WOOD-TV reported.

The prosecutor’s office says it asked for the review because of a conflict of interest stemming from a longtime affiliation with one of the lake associations.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said it was “incredibly disappointing” to see so many people ignoring safe distance guidelines.

The virus “doesn’t discriminate,” said Danielle Persky of the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department. “The goal right now is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and when we’re not doing things like social distancing 6 feet apart or wearing masks, we run the risk of spreading it further.”