Nine former Michigan officials, including former Gov. Rick Snyder, were charged on Thursday for their role in the Flint water crisis in a lawsuit that one prosecutor said. “In the end, I will be responsible for people”
Snyder, 62, and eight others who worked under him faced substantial costs generated by the water supply switch in 2014, which brought Flint residents to dangerous levels of lead and Legionnaires disease
“Let me start by saying the Flint water crisis is not a relic of the past,” Michigan attorney General Fadwa Hammoud told reporters. “At the moment, the people of Flint continue to suffer from the complete failure of government officials at all levels of government that have treaded trust and avoided accountability for too long.”;
State Attorney General Dana Nessel has appointed Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to investigate the case, throwing a previous charge brought by her predecessor Bill Schuette.
Nessel is a Democrat and Schuette, a Republican like Snyder, was unsuccessful for governor in 2016.
“This case has nothing to do with clans,” he deserves. “It has to do with human decency, the complete abandonment of the people of Flint, and ultimately responsible for the people.”
“Pure and simple,” she added. “This case is about justice, truth, responsibility, poisoned children, lost lives, broken families that are not yet complete and just focus on all humanity.”
On Thursday, during a virtual appearance before Genesee County Judge Christopher Odette, Snyder did not plead guilty to the two illegal chargers.
Odette set the bond at $ 10,000 and ordered Snyder not to leave Michigan until at least the next court date set for Tuesday.
The ex-governor spoke to a judge from a booth inside the county jail, wearing a mask and sitting next to his defense attorney Brian Lennon.
Lennon called the case against Snyder “subtle” and said, “The whole situation is puzzling.”
“It would be a mockery of illegally paying taxpayers’ additional tax on these fraud charges,” he said in a statement.
Nick Lyon, a former Michigan health director, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of nine people with Legionnaires disease.He also pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
Other government officials charged with include:
- Former Michigan Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eden Wells has also been charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter, along with two counts of misconduct at work and one for deliberate neglect.
- Richard Baird, who worked as a senior adviser at Gov. Snyder, was charged with perjury, misconduct at work, obstruction of justice and extortion.
- Jarrod Agen, Snyder’s former communications director, has been accused of making false statements about his testimony to state prosecutors.
- Darnell Earley, charged with misconduct in two counts of his performance as the state-appointed emergency manager in Flint.
- Another former emergency manager Gerald Ambrose has been charged with misconduct several times in the office.
- Howard Croft, Flint’s former director of public affairs, was charged twice with intentional neglect.
- Nancy Peeler was once the manager of the Primary Care Department in Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, twice charged with misconduct, and the other was a deliberate neglect of duty.
Flint residents, mostly blacks, have struggled for years to recover as they rely on bottled water as their primary source of clean water and their property values have suffered.
Today, testing has shown Flint’s water is safe to drink. But many residents are skeptical, government officials say they still don’t trust the city’s water.
Snyder’s administration in 2014 replaced Flint from Detroit’s water system to Flint River to cut costs. The move proved catastrophic, exposing the residents of Flint to the contamination of the new untreated river water of the power supply.
Michigan agreed to end a $ 600 million deal in August in a class-action lawsuit against Flint residents affected by health, setting up a fund where residents can apply for compensation.