Former governor, 2 other officials charged in Flint water crisis

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has been charged in connection with the Flint water crisis. Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has been charged in connection with the Flint water crisis. |  Photo: State of Michigan, file

from Associated Press reports
Updated: January 14, 2021 11:35 AM
Created: January 13, 2021 09:03 PM

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and two former state officials have been charged in connection with the Flint water crisis.

Corrosive water from the city's system caused lead to leach from pipes in 2014 and 2015. The system was also blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Snyder has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty. Meanwhile, two former health officials have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of nine people who got Legionnaires’ disease.

Snyder and former health director Nick Lyon joined a parade of former state and local officials pleading not guilty in Genesee County courts. The charges against Snyder carry up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

The indictment filed by the attorney general’s office is groundbreaking. According to the state archivist, no governor or former governor in Michigan’s 184-year history had been charged with crimes related to their time in that office.

It's the latest twist in a scandal that began in 2014 when the source of the majority Black city’s water supply was switched to save money.

The disaster made Flint a nationwide symbol of governmental mismanagement, with residents lining up for bottled water and parents fearing that their children had suffered permanent harm.

Lead can damage the brain and nervous system and cause learning and behavior problems. The crisis was highlighted as an example of environmental injustice and racism.


from Associated Press reports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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