A state prosecution team on Tuesday announced it’s given up on the effort to criminally charge public officials for the Flint water crisis. One unsurprised community leader called it “the norm” for a city repeatedly failed by the state.
Judges upheld a lower court order dismissing charges against two Flint water crisis defendants. It’s the latest setback in Michigan Attorney Dana Nessel’s efforts to hold state government officials accountable. Prosecutors vow to appeal.
The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously rejected the use of a one-judge grand jury by Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office to indict the ex-governor and other Flint water crisis defendants. Snyder’s lawyers blasted prosecutors as “vindictive.”
U.S. District Court Judge Judith E. Levy denied motions to stop subpoenas for Snyder and four other government officials in a civil lawsuit. The former officials wanted to assert their right to remain silent given their pending criminal cases.
Michigan is unique among states in giving broad powers to one-judge grand juries that operate behind closed and can keep evidence from defendants. Snyder is due back in court Tuesday and still doesn’t know the evidence against him.
Years after a cost-cutting move resulted in lead-poisoned drinking water in Flint, residents said they are furious that the governor who placed their city under emergency control won’t face more serious charges.
Prosecutors are expected to bring new charges Thursday against a host of public officials in the poisoning of Flint. Residents welcome the charges, but attorneys call the case a ‘debacle’ and ‘trial by ambush.’