Fifteen state, local, and federal government workers have been charged as part of an investigation into the causes of lead poisoning that contaminated the water supply of Flint, Michigan.
What's the background?
In April 2014, the City of Flint Michigan began taking its water from the Flint River instead of getting it from Detroit. Residents began to complain about the water, but the local government ignored their complaints. It was later discovered that the water contained unsafe levels of lead. The state government would not acknowledge that the water contained lead until September of the following year. Twelve people are reported to have died and at least 90 had gotten sick from legionella bacteria found in the contaminated water.
In January 2016, former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) apologized to the people of Flint. "You deserve better. You deserve accountability," he said.
The Associated Press reported Friday that authorities had filed charges against Michael Prysby, Stephen Busch, Liane Shekter-Smith, and Adam Rosenthal from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Mike Glasgow and Daugherty "Duffy" Johnson from the city government; Corinne Miller from Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services; Nick Lyon from Michigan's Health Department; Dr. Eden Wells, former Michigan chief medical executive; Nancy Peeler and Robert Scott from the Michigan Health Department; Patrick Cook from the Department of Environmental Quality; Gerald Ambrose the former Flint emergency manager; Darnell Earley, former Flint emergency manager; and Howard Croft the former director of Flint Public Works.
The charges range from misconduct in office, conspiracy, and false pretenses to involuntary manslaughter.
Prysby, Busch, Smith, Rosenthal, Glasgow, Johnson, and Miller all pleaded no contest. Charges for the remaining eight are still pending.
To date, no one has been sent to prison over this crisis.