Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Michigan Supreme Court Rules That Former Governor Will Not Face Criminal Charges For Flint Water Crisis

A last-ditch effort to bring criminal charges against former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for the Flint water crisis has come to an end.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that it would not further explore charges against Snyder and several other officials for their roles in the notorious Flint water crisis. Prosecutors were hoping that the Supreme Court would reconsider refiling misdemeanor charges against Snyder for willful neglect of duty. He, along with officials under his administration, switched the city’s water source, which led to thousands being exposed to lead in the years-long crisis.

NPR reports that in 2014, Snyder-appointed managers made the Flint River the primary source of Flint water that flowed throughout the community. Lead poisoning, however, resulted from the water not being treated to decrease its corrosive effect on old pipes. At least 12 people died from Legionnaire disease resulting from the switch. In 2015, Flint was reconnected to a regional water system, though Flint residents have debated whether or not the water is now safe.

“Our disappointment in the Michigan Supreme Court is exceeded only by our sorrow for the people of Flint,” prosecutors shared in its statement after the discouraging decision and also stated that a thorough report of the crisis efforts and legal rulings would be made available next year.

Though Snyder and his former team won’t face jail time, Michigan has settled on a $626 million settlement for many residents affected by the contamination.

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