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Michigan Prosecutors Drop Flint Lead Poisoning Charges, Pledging Expanded Case

HeadlineJun 14, 2019

In Michigan, state prosecutors dropped all criminal charges Thursday against eight government officials blamed for poisoning the water supply of Flint with toxic lead, pledging to start over and expand their investigation into the Flint water crisis. The move drew alarm from Flint residents—but also hope that more people might ultimately be held accountable. The crisis began in 2014 when Flint’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, switched the source of the city’s drinking water in order to save money. The move has been linked to at least 12 deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, as well as widespread lead poisoning in residents, including children. Earlier this month, the AP reported authorities used search warrants to seize the state-owned mobile devices of former Governor Snyder and 66 other current or former officials, raising the prospect of a far wider criminal probe under Michigan’s newly elected Attorney General Dana Nessel. Prosecutors said they won’t answer questions about the revamped probe until after a public meeting in Flint planned for June 28.

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