Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is bringing in a different prosecutor to evaluate how the Flint water crisis investigation is going.
Nessel has asked Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy to do “an independent evaluation of the Flint Water criminal cases.”
The nearly three year-long investigation has led to the indictment of 15 current and former government officials. Six defendants have cut plea deals. The nine remaining face charges ranging from misconduct to involuntary manslaughter.
But the investigation has been criticized for its length and other issues.
Nessel released a statement saying she has “total confidence” in Worthy. She has also asked Worthy to take over the Flint water prosecutions.
But Worthy’s office released a statement saying “A decision will be made at a later time addressing what entity will continue these prosecutions.”
The Attorney General’s office says Special Counsel Todd Flood and his team will “will stay on until Worthy decides whether or not to take on the cases.”
Flood is a former Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor and prominent Republican attorney. He was appointed by former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to lead the criminal investigation. The appointment was made to avoid conflicts within the AG’s office. The Attorney General is responsible for defending government agencies and employees in civil and criminal cases.
The Attorney General’s office says Worthy’s review should not affect the timetable for the remaining cases.
Nessel’s decision to bring in Worthy is being praised by some of Flint’s elected leaders.
“The people of Flint undoubtedly suffered enough at the hands of the previous administration; it is refreshing to have an attorney general take such serious and immediate action to ensure the Flint community receives the support and resources they deserve,” says Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint).