Former Michigan governor charged with willful neglect of duty | Michigan Radio
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Former Michigan governor charged with willful neglect of duty

Jan 13, 2021

Former Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) (file photo)
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty in the Flint water crisis.

Residents' tap water became tainted by lead, after the ill-fated decision by a state appointed emergency manager to switch the city’s drinking water source to save money. The water from the Flint River was not treated properly. 

A Legionella outbreak has been connected by experts to ruinous decisions that turned a river into the city's water source in 2014-15.

The indictment filed by the attorney general's office is groundbreaking. According to the state archivist, no governor or former governor in Michigan's 184-year history had been charged with crimes related to their time in that office.

The Michigan attorney general’s office plans on releasing information on the status of its investigation into the Flint water crisis Thursday morning. 

Charges are also expected against two other former officials in the Snyder administration and Flint’s former utilities director.   

Some Flint residents impacted by months of lead-tainted water are looking past expected charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder and others in his administration to healing physical and emotional damages left by the crisis.

Corrosive water from the Flint River which caused lead to leach from pipes is blamed with causing learning disabilities in scores of children and other medical problems among adults in Flint.

A pediatrician who helped call attention to childhood health risks from exposure to lead in Flint's water says "without justice, it's impossible to heal the scars of the crisis."