Prosecutor pledges to continue the fight in Flint water crisis criminal probe
A leader of the Flint water crisis prosecution team Wednesday defended their work, a day after a judge tossed out charges against seven defendants in the case.
Along with Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hamoud, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has helped lead the state investigation into the Flint water crisis.
The investigation took a hit this week when a circuit court judge dismissed charges against seven defendants: former state health department Director Nick Lyon, former state Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells, two former Flint emergency managers (Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley), two aides to former Governor Rick Snyder (Richard Baird and Jarrod Agen) and state health department employee Nancy Peeler.
The dismissal follows a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court finding fault with the use of a one-person grand jury.
But speaking to reporters, Worthy defended the practice.
“We did not, as referenced in the Michigan Supreme Court decision, take a short cut, nor did we employ incorrect law or procedure in any way,” said Worthy.
Worthy insisted the prosecution team would continue its work, but also said the team is still assessing its next move.
The Wayne County prosecutor said they would continue to pursue justice for Flint residents.
“We still care. We’re going to hang in there. We’re going to continue to fight for you,” Worthy said.
Flint’s water crisis began in April of 2014, when the city’s drinking water source was changed as part of an effort to save money. But improperly treated river water damaged city pipes, releasing lead and other contaminants into Flint’s drinking water.
The water crisis has been the subject of two criminal investigations.
The first initiated by former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette made slow progress and included several plea deals in exchange for testimony.
After her election in 2018, new Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel scrapped her predecessor’s investigation and launched a new wider probe. But the second probe has stumbled.
At this point, only former Gov. Rick Snyder and former Flint Public Works Director Howard Croft remain the only individuals facing misdemeanor charges.