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4 more officials face felony charges in Flint water crisis

Michigan's attorney general says 12 deaths must not be 'swept under the rug.'


Dell Cameron


Posted on Dec 20, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 8:43 am CDT

Four more officials are facing charges in connection with the Flint water crisis, including two former emergency managers and two city employees.

The charges were announced on Monday by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette whose office has now filed 43 charges against 13 individuals linked to the mismanagement of the drinking water contamination.

“Twelve people have died from legionnaires disease,” Schuette said. “Twelve people. That cannot be swept under the rug,”

“We will proceed to deliver justice and hold those accountable who broke the law.”

Schuette called Flint, Michigan, a city where “so many things went tragically wrong,” but one where those who were broke the law would be held accountable. The crisis is not “an accident,” he said, but “a casualty of arrogance, disdain, and a failure of management—an absence of accountability, shirking responsibility.”

Two emergency managers who were charged this week—Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose—face up to 46 years in prison on charges of false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, misconduct in office, and willful neglect of duty. Two former Flint city employees have also been accused of false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses.

One former city employee, Howard Croft, served as Flint’s director of the Department of Public Works for roughly four years until November 2015. The other city employee, Daugherty Johnson, served as Flint’s utilities director for the Department of Public Works. Both Croft and Johnson face up to 40 years in prison.

Schuette has so far charged a total of 13 people in connection to Flint’s water contamination scandal.

Schuette criticizes the water poisoning investigation for fixating on financial matters. “This fixation cost lives,” Schuette said. “This fixation came at the expense of protecting the health and safety of Flint. It’s all about numbers of people; money over health.”

“We will proceed to deliver justice and hold those accountable who broke the law,” Schuette said. “Period.” 

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2016, 4:35 pm CST