Prosecution team in Flint water case to announce investigation findings

Snyder to be charged in Flint water probe

Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday with two counts of willful neglect of duty for his role in the deadly and ongoing Flint water crisis, news that comes in the wake of a report indicating Snyder was aware of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak linked to the emergency months before he acknowledged it in public.

The AP could not determine the nature of the charges against Snyder, former health department director Nick Lyon and others who were in his administration, including Rich Baird, a friend who was the governor's key troubleshooter while in office. The charges are misdemeanors, punishable with up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000, the state's penal code shows.

Earlier this week, as reports began to surface that charges were looming, an attorney for Snyder referred to them as "a politically motivated smear campaign", according to the Detroit Free Press. "Government failed you: federal, state and local leaders by breaking the trust you placed in us".

"He swept things under the rug, in my opinion, and to me that makes him just as guilty as everybody else because he should have come out singing like a canary", Sabucco said of Snyder. "You deserve better. You deserve accountability; you deserve to know the buck stops here with me". "Most of all, you deserve to know the truth, and I have a responsibility to tell the truth".

The Wall Street Journal reported that "the charging document, a bare-bones filing made Wednesday in state court in Flint, lists only the two charges, and refers to April 25, 2014, as the 'offense date.' That day, Flint officials held a ceremony at the city's water plant to switch its water supply to the Flint River". The river water scraped lead off aging pipes and plumbing fixtures. The pipes also became a breeding ground for legionella, a bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia that can be fatal if not properly treated.

Last year Nessel announced a $600 million-dollar settlement for Flint families impacted by the water crisis last year.

Snyder to be charged in Flint water probe

Young people were especially vulnerable, at risk of suffering long-term cognitive challenges and other health issues from being exposed to lead contamination in the water. "It was October 16 and 17 that stood out to investigators, and seemed to indicate that Snyder knew about risky bacteria in Flint's water in October 2014: 16 months earlier than he testified to Congress. The Intercept obtained phone records from search warrants that showed an all-out blitz of calls between Snyder [and other MI officials]".

"Your families face a crisis, a crisis which you did not create and could not have prevented", Snyder said.

Despite this, local officials denied anything was wrong for more than a year, even as residents complained that the water tasted and looked unusual.

Hammoud and Worthy took over the criminal investigation of the water crisis in the first half of 2019 and Hammoud soon fired former special prosecutor Todd Flood, who had been appointed to investigate Flint water by former Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Abby Ellis contributed reporting. "I don't think it's right that he's getting away with a slap on the wrist, but I'm not surprised".

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