Felony Charges in Flint

Michigan’s attorney general, Bill Schuette, announced that four individuals will face felony charges as a result of the Flint water investigation. Merrit Kennedy, 2 Former Flint Emergency Managers, 2 Others Face Felony Charges Over Water Crisis, www.npr.org, (Dec. 20, 2016). The individuals, two of whom were emergency managers and the other two former city officials, are linked to the decision to switch water sources in Flint. Id. This decision resulted in dangerous levels of lead in the city’s drinking water. Id.

The problem arose when Flint decided to switch sources of water, from Detroit to the Karegnondi Water Authority in efforts to save money. Id. Since the pipeline that was supposed to connect Flint with the KWA wasn’t operational immediately, the city decided to use the Flint River as an interim source. Id. However, they failed to treat the water with corrosion controls, so the water broke down the city’s pipes which caused lead to contaminate the drinking water. Id.

Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, the former emergency managers, are being charged with false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, misconduct in office, and willful neglect of duty in office. Id. If they are found guilty of the allegations the former managers may serve up to 46 years in jail. Id. Howard Croft, the former director of the Department of Public Works in Flint, and Daugherty Johnson, the department’s utilities director, were also charged with false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses. Id. They face up to 40 years in jail if convicted.  This is the third set of criminal charges brought over the water investigation. Id.