DETROIT (Reuters) – Michigan’s attorney general and a team of prosecutors were due to release the full findings of a year-long criminal investigation into the crisis surrounding lead contamination in the city’s drinking water system on Thursday. . Former Gov. Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday with two misdemeanors of willful neglect of duty for his role in a debacle that plagued the predominantly African-American city and became emblematic of racial inequality in America. Flint’s troubles began in 2014 after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River from Lake Huron to cut costs. Corrosive river water caused lead to seep out of pipes, contaminating drinking water and causing an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. The contamination also prompted several lawsuits from parents who said their children displayed dangerously high levels of lead in their blood, which can cause developmental disorders. Lead can be toxic and children are especially vulnerable. A civil settlement of more than $ 600 million was reached with the victims of the water crisis in August 2020 and is pending judicial approval. The misdemeanor date in the indictment documents filed against Snyder and posted online was April 25, 2014, the day the city changed the water systems. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $ 1,000 fine. The Detroit News reported that up to 10 people in total faced charges stemming from the water crisis, including some former members of the Snyder administration. Snyder, a Republican who has been out of office for two years, was governor when the city of about 100,000 was under the control of a state-appointed administrator in 2014. He was succeeded by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat. The former Wayne County prosecutor appointed in 2016 to lead the state’s investigation into the matter then said he was seeking to determine whether officials who approved the water system change had acted criminally. On Wednesday, the state attorney general’s office, Dana Nessel, also a Democrat, said the findings of that investigation will be announced at a news conference Thursday, along with Michigan attorney general Fadwa Hammoud and the county attorney. from Wayne, Kym Worthy. Snyder has repeatedly apologized for the state’s mishandling of the crisis, but his attorney, Brian Lennon, has said any prosecution of the former governor would be politically motivated. “It is outrageous to think that criminal charges will be brought against Governor Snyder. Any charges would be unfounded, “Snyder said in a statement the day before the case was filed. Nessel’s office declined to comment on the case before Thursday’s press conference.
Former Michigan Governor Charged In Criminal Investigation Of Flint Water Crisis By Reuters
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