LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday with two charges of deliberate neglect as a result of an investigation into the Flint water crisis that left residents with water. Contaminated lead and accused of a deadly Legionnaires disease outbreak.
The charges shown on online court records are a felony with a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $ 1,000 fine.
The indictment filed by the Attorney General’s office is a novelty: no governor or former governor in Michigan̵7;s 184-year history has been charged with crimes related to their time in office, said Brian Lennon, a lawyer for Michigan. Snyder said he was not immediately available for comment, state Attorney General Dana Nessel and investigators scheduled for a news conference on Thursday.
In addition to Snyder, a Republican who held office until 2019, lawsuits are expected to be filed against others, including former officials who served as the state health director and as a senior adviser.
Flint ran into chronic financial problems in 2014 when Snyder-appointed managers, most of the Black City executives, decided to save money to use the Flint River for water. While a regional transport pipeline from Lake Huron is under construction. However, the corrosive water was not properly treated and the lead was released from old plumbing into the home, one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in U.S. history.
Despite a desperate plea from the inhabitants holding the stinking, discolored jugs But Snyder’s administration did not take any major action until doctors report it. Higher lead levels in children about 18 months later.
“I’m sorry and I’ll fix it,” Snyder promised during his 2016 State of the State speech.
Officials count at least 90 cases of Legionnaires in Genesee County, including 12 deaths.Some experts have found insufficient chlorine in the water treatment system to control the bacteria, Legionella, which can cause pneumonia in the form. A severe form when spreading through mist and cooling systems.
Disaster This makes Flint a national symbol of government abandonment, with residents forced to line up to get bottled water and parents fear their children will be permanently harmed. 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..
More than 9,700 lead-in service lines were replaced at Flint’s water home, now from Detroit’s regional authority, receiving good ratings, although many distrustful residents still. Apply a filter
The criminal investigation lasted five years under two prosecutors. Todd Flood, convicted of felony of seven, was ousted in 2019 following the election of Democratic Attorney General Fadwa Hammoud, later slashed charges. Of the eight cases pending and said the investigation would restart. She said the first team had failed to collect all available evidence.
Flint State, a hospital and engineering firm have agreed to settle $ 641 million in debt to residents during the water crisis, with $ 600 million coming from Michigan. The judge said she hopes to decide by Jan. 21 whether to preliminary approval. Other litigation, including the one against the US Environmental Protection Agency, are pending.