Politics

Update: Ex-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and 8 Others Charged In Flint Water Crisis

January 14, 2021, 1:00 PM

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Gov. Rick Snyder talks to the media. (Deadline Detroit file photo)

Update: 12:46 p.m. Thursday -- Ex-Gov. Rick Snyder and eight others face criminal charges in the Flint water crisis following a 12-month grand jury probe, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today.

Snyder faces two counts of willful neglect of duty. Because they are both misdemeanors, he's not likely to serve time if  convicted or pleads guilty.

The Attorney General's Office said there were a total of 42 criminal counts from " a series of alleged actions and inactions that created the historic injustice of the Flint Water Crisis."

The Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit in Genesee County appointed Judge David Newblatt to act as a one-man grand jury to investigate the crisis and issue criminal charges. 

The following face state criminal charges: 

Jarrod Agen – Former Director of Communications and Former Chief of Staff, Executive Office of Gov. Rick Snyder 

  • One count of perjury – a 15-year felony 

Gerald Ambrose – Former City of Flint Emergency Manager

  • Four counts of misconduct in office – each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine

Richard Baird – Former Transformation Manager and Senior Adviser, Executive Office of Gov. Snyder

  • One count of perjury – a 15-year felony
  • One count of official misconduct in office – a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine
  • One count of obstruction of justice – a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine
  • One count of extortion – a 20-year felony and/or $10,000 fine

Howard Croft – Former Director of the City of Flint Department of Public Works

  • Two counts of willful neglect of duty – each a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine

Darnell Earley – Former City of Flint Emergency Manager 

  • Three counts of misconduct in office – each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine

Nicolas Lyon – Former Director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 

  • Nine counts of involuntary manslaughter – each a 15-year felony and/or $7,500 fine
  • One count of willful neglect of duty – a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine

Nancy Peeler – Current Early Childhood Health Section Manager, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

  • Two counts of misconduct in office – each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine
  • One count of willful neglect of duty – a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine

Richard Snyder – Former Governor of Michigan

  • Two counts of willful neglect of duty – each a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine

Eden Wells – Former Chief Medical Executive, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

  • Nine counts of involuntary manslaughter – each a 15-year felony and/or $7,500 fine
  • Two counts of misconduct in office – each a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine
  • One count of willful neglect of duty – a one-year misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine 

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Report From Wednesday Night

Ex-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has been charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty stemming from an investigation of the Flint water crisis, the Associated Press reports. 

The misdemeanor counts are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. State Attorney General Dana Nessel has scheduled a Thursday press conference.

It's the first time a current or former Michigan governor has been charged for crimes related to the office, AP reports. Snyder’s lawyer, Brian Lennon, told the wire service he could not immediately comment. 

The fact that Snyder faces misdemeanor charges, not felonies, means he's got a far better shot of staying out of prison if convicted. 

Charges are also expected against other Snyder administration officials, including his state health director and a senior adviser.

Flint changed water sources, resulting in illnesses, including deaths from Legionnaires’ disease.

Snyder, 62, who served as governor from 2011 to January 2019, had a promising political career that came to a screeching halt after the scandal surfaced. Up until then, he had mentioned a vice presidential candidate, and he even flirted with running for president.


Read more:  Deadine Detroit


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