Prosecutors have dismissed all criminal charges in the Flint water crisis case.
A new investigation will be opened in regards to the Flint, Michigan water crisis after prosecutors decided to drop all criminal charges against eight people who were allegedly involved. One of the eight is former Michigan health department director Nick Lyon, who was accused of ignoring the issue for almost a year, which resulted in one person dying. On Thursday, his lawyer called the move “fantastic” saying Lyon felt vindicated. Lyon was charged with involuntary manslaughter and was ordered to stand trial.
Lyon allegedly found out about the Legionnaires’ Flint’s poor water quality back in January of 2015 but didn’t alert the public in a sufficient amount of time, according to documents. The contaminated water killed at least 12 people. On Thursday, Michigan’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells, was cleared of manslaughter charges, lying to a special police agent and obstruction of justice.
The Department of Attorney General said in a press release that the decision to dismiss all charges was “not a determination of any defendant’s criminal responsibility” but rather stems from concerns that investigators had with the way the probe was handled by the former Office of Special Counsel.
“We are not precluded from refiling charges against the defendants listed below or adding new charges and additional defendants,” said Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy in a joint statement. “We understand this decision will not bring immediate remedy or relief to the citizens of Flint, who remain victims of one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in United States history. However, we recognize the only acceptable remedy is the vigorous pursuit of justice, which demands an uncompromising investigation of the Flint Water Crisis and professional prosecution of all those criminally culpable.” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel spoke to the community saying not give up on justice being served.
“I want to remind the people of Flint that justice delayed is not always justice denied,” Nessel said in a statement. “A fearless and dedicated team of career prosecutors and investigators are hard at work to ensure those who harmed you are held accountable.”