Indictments in Flint Water Crisis Are Invalid, Michigan Supreme Court Finds

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U.S.|Indictments successful Flint Water Crisis Are Invalid, Michigan Supreme Court Finds

The cases against erstwhile Gov. Rick Snyder and different apical officials were thrown into uncertainty by the ruling.

Former Gov. Rick Snyder, center, walking retired  of the Genesee County Jail alongside his lawyer   aft  a video arraignment connected  charges related to the Flint h2o  situation  past  year.
Credit...Jake May/The Flint Journal, via Associated Press

Mitch Smith

June 28, 2022, 11:17 a.m. ET

The Michigan Supreme Court said Tuesday that indictments against erstwhile apical authorities officials implicit the Flint h2o situation had been issued improperly, upending immoderate of the highest-profile prosecutions successful caller authorities past and leaving residents whose pat h2o turned toxic without immoderate accountability successful transgression court.

In bringing charges past twelvemonth against Michigan officials, including erstwhile Gov. Rick Snyder, prosecutors said they had failed to support the information and wellness of Flint residents, who were sickened by accrued levels of pb and by Legionnaires’ illness aft the city’s h2o proviso was switched to the Flint River successful April 2014.

But prosecutors appointed by Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, relied connected a one-man expansive assemblage to contented indictments against Mr. Snyder, a Republican, and 8 others, including the erstwhile authorities wellness manager and the state’s erstwhile main aesculapian officer. The Supreme Court said Tuesday that single-person expansive juries could not beryllium utilized successful that way.

Three defendants, not including Mr. Snyder, had challenged the usage of the one-man expansive jury, but the court’s determination besides appeared apt to upset the prosecutions of the different defendants. An authoritative successful Ms. Nessel’s bureau said prosecutors were reviewing the decision. It was not wide whether they intended to prosecute caller charges.

At slightest 9 radical died of Legionnaires’ successful the Flint portion from June 2014 done October 2015. The h2o crisis, which resulted successful elevated pb levels among thousands of radical successful Flint, has near countless families distrustful of the h2o supply, adjacent arsenic metropolis officials importune that it is present harmless to drink.

The charges brought by Ms. Nessel’s squad were a 2nd effort astatine prosecuting officials for what had happened successful Flint. Before Ms. Nessel took office, her Republican predecessor helped oversee cases against 15 authorities and section officials for crimes arsenic superior arsenic involuntary manslaughter. But Ms. Nessel’s squad had those cases dismissed successful 2019 earlier filing caller charges against respective of the aforesaid officials.

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