The water crisis has tolled residents of this city in Michigan, who have lived with lead-tainted tap water for more than two years.
Brian Kaufman, Detroit Free Press Videographer
COMPLETION – Michigan Attorney General's Office refused to expel all criminal charges pending the Flint drinking water crisis, tstating that the initial investigation was opened and that it has the option of launching a new but extended inquiry.
The office announced on Thursday the dismissal of charges against each of the other eight defendants, including charges of involuntary mortality against Nick Lyon, former director of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Fees were also dismissed against other officials from the health department, plus two former Flint emergency managers and current or former employees of the Michigan Environmental Quality Department and Flint City.
Seven pleaded that they had no earlier competition for misconduct, and expectations that they would cooperate with other pending prosecutions and that their net records would eventually be removed.
Phoenix residents worked with shock and confusion.
The statement from the Office of the Attorney General Danael said that responding to problems with the original inquiry was the launch of dismissalin 2016under the former Attorney General Bill Schuette, and do not obstruct or add new defendants.
Not all the evidence was followed and Schuette's special prosecutor, Todd Flood, allowed private law firms representing the former Republic of Republic, Rick Snyder and other defendants to “have a role in informing decision making”. which could be applied to law enforcement, ”according to a statement by the Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud, who is dealing with criminal cases, and is being assisted by Wayne Kym Worthy County Prosecutor.
Hammoud could not have flooded on 14 April, to get an opinion immediately.
In a particular statement, Nessel said that Flint residents want to know that justice is always denied ", and" there is a determined and committed team of career prosecutors and investigators working hard to ensure that the people who hurt you responsible. ”
Nayyirah Shariff, a Flint resident and director of Flint Rising community group, described the announcement that it was a negative impact on the residents of Flint, whose lead to drinking water contaminated with lead in 2014, and many residents still rely on a bottle of water today.
"This is bundled," she said. "I don't know what's going on."
"I am very disappointed with the office of Dana Nessel because she succeeded in giving a platform that she was to provide justice to the residents of Flint, and justice does not appear to be coming."
Fifteen people were cut under Schuette, Republican.
Ten million dollars were spent in taxpayers' funds on the investigation and for the payment of criminal defense bills of state and city defendants.
A "community conversation" has been arranged for 28 June in Flint, where Hammoud and Worthy will speak and answer questions.
“Full criminal prosecutions must be fully investigated,” said Hammoud and Worthy. in its statement, adding that they would not answer media queries regarding the decisions on dismissal until after the Flint meeting.
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After taking the case, “our prosecutors and career investigators had immediate and serious concerns about the investigative approach and legal theories pursued under Flooding,” in particular in relation to the pursuit of evidence, " the statement.
"After a full evaluation, our concerns were gathered."
The team worked to save any progress made, but we also remembered the huge spending of public resources to that point and tried to use taxpayers' money as efficiently as possible, "he added. the statement said.
But rather than attempting to build on a "flawed foundation," prosecutors will dismiss the pending charges and "proceed in accordance with the unforeseeable requirements for a thorough, methodological and ethical investigation."
Hammoud asked the judges to spend a six-month break in Flint prosecutions in May.
Schuette issued a statement that said his investigation and conduct of the Flint investigation had the highest level of professionalism and expertise, "using" an experienced, aggressive and driving team. "His statement did not focus directly on the decision to break the pending charges.
Melissa Mays, the Flint resident, founder of the Water You Fighting group, said that the meeting in Flint which is scheduled later this month should take place before the announcement or decision is being made.
Cases were moving through the courts system and meeting residents, and "I don't understand why it's the best way to tackle it," said Mays.
"It is extremely alarming," she said. "Now we have people who may or may not know what is going on," and what it does is to say that our voices mean anything. "
Nessel, Democratic who took office January 1 and is working to resolve the Flint civilian settlement and Hammoud deals with the criminal cases, said that she has trusted Hammoud and Worthy, and “if this step is necessary for a comprehensive comprehensive investigation to do. I have great support. "
After a long preliminary hearing, Lyon was bound to try two tests of involuntary manslaughter, willful neglect of duty and misconduct in office. Former Medical Chief Executive of Eden Wells was bound to trial on involuntary manslaughter and other charges after a preliminary examination in Flint district court.
Both were accused of not acting quickly on evidence which indicated that Flint drinking water was unsafe for drinking.
Lyon's solicitor Chip Chamberlain told the Associated Press that they felt they were great and weighed.
While prosecutors warned that Lyon and others could be charged again, Chamberlain said he is not worried.
“We are confident that no fair and properly conducted investigation will provide evidence of any unfair wrongdoing,” said Chamberlain.
In addition to Lyon and Wells, the charges were dismissed against former emergency managers of Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley, an official of the ROC Patrick Cook and current or former officials of DHHS Nancy Peeler and Robert Scott.
Mary Chartier, an Okemos attorney representing Scott, said that dismissal of these charges was the only ethical decision that could have been made since an innocent man was charged and wrongly prosecuted. "
The statement from Hammoud and Worthy said that staff have already identified additional interests and information, and that "the outcome of this investigation will continue."
They said they understand "this decision will not immediately cure or relieve Flint citizens, who are still victims of one of the worst environmental disasters in US history."
However, we understand that the only acceptable remedy is a vigorous attempt at justice, which requires the incredible investigation of … and the professional prosecution of all those who are legally permissible. "
Earlier this month, Hammoud's team executed a search warrant on another part of the Office of the Attorney General to seize from storage devices and records relating to Snyder and the many current or former officials. The warrant asked all the content from a Snyder mobile phone, an iPad and a hard-drive computer, indicating that the charges against the former governor might still be.
Snyder spoke against the action, and the way he was reported in the news media, on Twitter, saying he had turned the devices on him when he left the office and did not understand why an Office would do it. the search warrant itself.
Seanad's Minority Leader, Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said he wanted "to see people behind the bars" about what happened in Flint.
"Words cannot express how disappointed I am that justice has been delayed and the people of my city are denied it," said Ananich. "Years have been under investigation in their years, and the only thing that shows is that there are a large number of lawyers who have made a significant contribution to the taxpayers' dimension."
The Flint water crisis began in April 2014, when a state-appointed emergency manager changed the city's drinking water supply from Lake Huron treated in Detroit to the Flint River which was treated at a Treatment Plant. Flint Water. It was a temporary, cost saving measure, but it was a disastrous mistake. The DEQ recognized that it did not require corrosion control chemicals as part of the water treatment process.
After the Flint River began to flow, the result of corrosive water was that a leach came from joints, pipes and fixtures, which meant spike in toxic lead levels in which Shannon children and other residents.
Investigators explored possible links between water and spike change in fatalities in the Phoenix area associated with legionary disease. Manslaughter charges arose from some of these deaths.
The statement from Hammoud and Worthy said that, for the first time, they would evaluate criminal guilt in respect of the deaths of all Lecturers after they were transferred to the Flint River.
Flint changed back to Detroit water in October 2015, and shows the current water level levels tests within federal boundaries. But many residents have confidence in drinking water, even with filters on their taps, and there are still some risks due to potential shifts arising from ongoing work to replace Flint lead pipes.
Lonnie Scott, executive director of the Liberal Progress group Michigan, said, "it is very disappointing that Schuette and his team managed this investigation badly so that hard resettlement is necessary."
State Representative Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, said he hoped that the attorney general's office would come into his community in a fight for justice.
"My city is losing faith in our government, and this lack of confidence was justified today when they failed again sadly," said Neeley.
Contact Paul Egan at 517-372-8660 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ paulegan4. Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our election newsletter. The Associated Press assisted this report.
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