LANSING, Mich. — Former Gov. Rick Snyder and eight other officials have been charged in connection with the contamination of Flint's water system in 2014.
“There are no velvet ropes in our criminal justice system. Nobody, no matter how powerful, or well-connected, is above accountability when they commit a crime," Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud said at press conference Thursday morning.
Snyder is the governor in Michigan's history charged with a crime related to his activities in office.
Snyder and his team ordered Flint to switch from Detroit water to the Flint River to save money. The city's water supply became more corrosive, causing lead to leach out of service lines and poisoning thousands. The change also caused an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed several people.
“As the evidence comes out, it will be plain for everybody to see why in fact charges were absolutely necessary in this case,” Worthy said.
Snyder was charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty. Two of the other officials, Eden Wells, the former chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Nicolas Lyon, the agency’s former director, were both charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Claudia Perkins-Miltons, an activist, says the charges don’t go far enough.
"All this time and that's the best they can come up with? I'm appalled. This is ridiculous. This man was supposed to be the guardian, an overseer for the State of Michigan. That was his responsibility. His oath to office, and he's willfully neglected his job responsibilities," Perkins-Miltons said.
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