After a nearly two-year-long criminal investigation, Michigan prosecutors announced 41 counts (34 felonies and seven misdemeanors) against nine high-ranking government officials, including former governor Rick Snyder, his top advisors, trusted medical officials, and two emergency managers. Two of the officials were charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.
According to prosecutors, Flint residents’ health and safety were left unprotected by officials. The residents were poisoned and sickened by Legionnaires’ disease. In April 2014, the city’s water supply was switched to the Flint River, which caused increased levels of lead in their drinking water. From June 2014 through October 2015, at least nine people died from Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia caused by waterborne bacteria.
Michigan’s solicitor general Fadwa Hammond said, “The Flint water crisis is not some relic of the past. At this very moment, the people of Flint continue to suffer from the categorical failure of public officials at all levels of government who trampled upon their trust and evaded accountability for far too long.”
Previously, fifteen state and local officials had been accused by state prosecutors of crimes; seven took plea deals, and eight more were awaiting trial. In 2019, prosecutors stunningly dropped all pending charges and began a new investigation.
Many of the same officials are indicted in this case, including Nick Lyon (former state health director) and Dr. Eden Wells (former state chief medical officer.) Both were charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of those residents who succumbed to Legionnaires’ disease.
E-mails from 2015 indicate state officials were, in fact, aware of an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases, possibly tied to Flint’s troubled water supply. Ten months later, in early 2016, former governor Rick Snyder informed the public of the situation.
In late 2015, Flint city officials switched the water supply back to its previous source, Lake Huron. Despite the shift, countless Flint residents distrust the water supply even though city officials insist it is safe to drink.
For more information, read the full Detroit Free Press article. Also, check out one of our past blog posts where we discussed the State of Michigan paying Flint water crisis victims $600M.
Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.
Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.