Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is being charged with two counts of neglect of duty stemming from the Flint water crisis, according to online court documents. The crisis, which began in 2014, contaminated the city of Flint’s drinking water with lead and some attributed it to the 2016 outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, killing at least 12 people.
Neglect of duty is punishable by imprisonment for one year or a fine of up to $ 1,000.
“We believe there is no evidence to support any criminal charges against Governor Snyder,” Brian Lennon, a lawyer representing Snyder, told CBS News.
“We have asked the Michigan Attorney General’s Office of Counsel to confirm yesterday’s allegations in advance or at least, and it has not yet provided us,” Lennon said. “It’s difficult for us to comment on something we haven’t seen yet.”
According to court documents, Howard Croft, Flint’s former Department of Public Works director, is facing two demerits of neglect of duty. Croft’s attorney confirmed the allegations to CBS News on Wednesday night, and said he would replace himself at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Jamie White, a lawyer representing Croft,On Tuesday, he was told of the expectation of the charges, but was not told what the charges would be.
White said that Croft had done nothing wrong, “the idea that because he was the manager of the city’s work, and therefore knew that the water was contaminated and did nothing about it, is simply not supported by the facts.” “
Attorney General Dana Nessel, Solicitor General Phadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy held talks at a press conference Thursday morning to announce the outcome of the state’s criminal investigation.
Representatives of Rich Baird, a former aide to Snyder, also confirmed they expected charges.
An attorney for former health director Nick Leone would not confirm whether Leone expected the charges, but told CBS News that any charges filed against his client would be “a complete crime of justice.”
Leone was accused earlierIn relation to the crisis arising out of the investigation that began while Snyder’s post. There were allegations against Leon and several other officials A new investigation began in 2019 and under Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The crisis began in 2014, when the city of Flint diverted its water source from Detroit to the Flint River from Detroit in an effort to save money. city, Causing an excess amount of leach from the old pipes in the water and pumped directly into Flint homes.
According to The Associated Press, authorities found 90 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County, where Flint is located, including 12 deaths. Some experts determined that the water treatment system lacked enough chlorine to control legionella bacteria.
However, legal representatives for Lyon dispute the cause of the outbreak. He noted in a 2019 report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that there has been evidence that the same strain of Legionella bacteria has been infecting people at a local hospital since 2008, before the city cut its water source Changed.
According to Flint Mayor Sheldon Neely, the replacement of domestic water service lines is “almost complete”. Of the 26,750 lines that have been excavated less than 500 are yet to be investigated, Neely said in a statement.
Adam Brewster, Sarah Barth, Adrianna Diaz, Zoe Kristen Jones, Jordan Freeman and The Associated Press contributed reporting.