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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Flint water case could hinge in part on misconduct charges

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The prosecution of current and former state employees for their role in Flint's lead-contaminated water crisis likely will face an early test over whether one of the most serious charges can even be levied against the middle- and lower-level government officials.

  All eight workers charged so far, five from the Department of Environmental Quality and three with the Department of Health and Human Services, face a misconduct in office charge. The felony carries a maximum five-year prison term.

  There's no Michigan statute clearly defining official misconduct. The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that the charge applies only to "public officers," not all government workers.

  Legal experts expect defense lawyers to vigorously try to get the misconduct charges dismissed in the early stages of the case.

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