State prosecutors are still not saying when to expect new criminal charges in the Flint water crisis probe.
Thursday evening, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley in cutting a ribbon officially opening the department’s new office in Flint. The office will handle multiple jobs. But its highest profile mission is related to the investigation into Flint’s water crisis.
The switch of Flint’s drinking water source exposed city residents to high levels of lead and other contaminants. The county also experienced a spike in cases of Legionnaires Disease. At least 12 people died.
Under the previous state Attorney General, more than a dozen government officials were criminally charged. About half reached plea deals with prosecutors in exchange for their cooperation, but no one spent a day in jail.
Six months ago, Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud dropped criminal charges against a half dozen government officials. The decision meant restarting the investigation from scratch. She blames the previous investigative team for the need to start over from square one.
Hammoud understands the clock is ticking on the criminal investigation.
“I can’t comment on specific dates but like any criminal case, there are statutes of limitations and we are extremely aware and cognizant of that,” Hammoud told reporters Thursday.
Many Flint residents have spent years demanding someone be held accountable.
Hammoud promises her team is still working.
“You can expect what we continue to give is a thorough investigation in the pursuit of justice for the citizens of Flint,” says Hammoud.
Next April will mark the sixth anniversary of Flint’s drinking water switch.