Ex-Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to be charged in Flint water crisis, sources say

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and other officials are expected to be criminally charged in connection with the Flint water crisis, according to reports.

Two people close to the matter told the Associated Press that the attorney general’s office informed Snyder, former health department director Nick Lyon, former Flint public works chief Howard Croft, and other officials in Snyder’s administration of upcoming court hearings.

Meanwhile, sources told The Detroit News as many as 10 people will be charged in regards to the Flint water crisis. It is not immediately known what criminal charges they will face.

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Snyder, a Republican, served as governor from 2011 to 2019. MLive reported that Snyder not only played down the severity of the Flint water crisis in 2014 and 2015, but the emergency managers he appointed made several decisions that resulted in the city getting their drinking water from the Flint River.

State officials reportedly selected the Flint River as a cost-saving option while a pipeline was being constructed to Lake Huron. Water from the Flint River was not treated to prevent corrosion — resulting in the lead from the old pipes contaminating the drinking water distributed to almost 100,000 residents, according to the Associated Press.

Fatal outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014 and 2015 were eventually attributed to the contaminated drinking water. Despite this, Snyder and Lyon did not publicly disclose issues with Flint’s drinking water until January 2016.

Lyon and former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant and members of his cabinet were formally charged with crimes — including involuntary manslaughter — in connection with the Flint water crisis.

Lyon stood trial in 2018, accused of failing to adequately inform the public of the contaminated drinking water. The following year, prosecutors dropped the criminal charges against Lyon and seven more people, as prosecutors working under a new attorney general vowed to reconduct their investigation.

Prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges against Lyon et al. did not apply to seven officials who previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offenses. However, the Associated Press reported that they had their convictions removed from their records because they cooperated with authorities.

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[Featured image: Rick Snyder/AP Photo/Al Goldis]