Nine people, including former governor, charged in relation to Flint Water Crisis

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 01/14/2021, 12:17 PM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
Photo Courtesy: City of Flint (FLINT, Mich.) Nine people, including former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, have been charged for alleged action or inaction related to the Flint Water Crisis. The charges were brought down by the state's Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Thursday. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office made the announcement. All defendants were arraigned Thursday morning in Genesee County in front of Seventh Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth A. Kelly and 67th District Court Chief Judge Christopher Odette. Snyder is facing two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty. Each charge carries the possibility of one year behind bars and/or a $1,000 fine. Nick Lyon, the former director of Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is facing nine felony counts of involuntary manslaughter. Each of those carry the possibility of a 15-year sentence and/or a $7,500 fine. Lyon is also facing one count of willful neglect of duty. Others charged include Jarrod Agen, Snyder's former Director of Communications and former Chief of Staff. Agen was charge with one count of perjury, which also carries a potential 15-year sentence. The City of Flint's Former Emergency Manager Gerald Ambrose was arraigned on four counts of misconduct in office, which each carry a possible five-year sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. The City of Flint's Former Director for the Department of Public Works Howard Croft was arraigned on two counts of willful neglect of duty. Darnell Earley, the former Emergency Manager for the City of Flint, was also among the nine people charged. Earley is charged with three counts of misconduct while in office. Each of those carry a possible five-year sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. Eden Wells, the former Chief Medical Executive for MDHHS, was charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of misconduct while in office, and one count of willful neglect of duty. The former Transformation Manager and Senior Adviser for the Executive office of Governor Snyder, Richard Baird, is facing one count of perjury, one count of official misconduct in office, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of extortion. Nancy Peeler, who currently serves as the Early Childhood Section Health Manager for MDHHS, is facing two counts of misconduct in office and one count of willful neglect of duty. The Flint Water Crisis has been ongoing since 2014. In April of 2014, the water supply for thousands of homes, schools, and businesses within Flint started getting switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River. As a result, at least 90 people were sickened and a dozen died from exposure to waterborne legionella bacteria. Former Governor Snyder declared a State of Emergency for Genesee County in early 2016. Former Attorney General Bill Schuette appointed a private law firm to start an investigation. When Attorney General Dana Nessel took office in 2019, she established a conflict wall which allowed the criminal investigation and civic litigation for the Flint Water Crisis to be managed by separate teams. Hammoud and Worthy were chosen to lead the criminal investigation. Worthy says the charges filed aren't about politics. "This case has nothing to do with partisanship," said Worthy. "It has to do with human decency, resurrecting the complete abandonment of the people of Flint, and finally, finally, holding people accountable for the unspeakable alleged atrocities that harmed this city for years. Pure and simple this case is about justice, truth, accountability, poisoned children, lost lives, shattered families that are still not whole, and simply giving a damn about all of humanity." For more information, visit:


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