Michigan Attorney General drops cases against Flint water defendants

Local News

FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, listens closely as Genesee District Judge David J. Goggins gives his decision during Lyon’s preliminary examination at Genesee District Court in Flint, Mich. Prosecutors say they’re dismissing all criminal charges against eight people in the Flint water scandal and starting the investigation over again. The eight people include former Michigan health director Nick Lyon. He was accused of failing to timely inform the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease when Flint was using improperly treated water from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015. The outbreak occurred at the same time that the city’s water system was contaminated with lead. Lyon was the highest-ranking official to be charged in the investigation. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP, File)

FLINT, Mich. – Judge: Prosecutors drop involuntary manslaughter charges against former Michigan health chief in Flint water scandal.

According to The Department of Attorney General the Flint Water Crisis prosecution team has dismissed without prejudice all pending criminal cases, brought by the former Office of Special Counsel, in order to conduct a full and complete investigation. 

The OSC was appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Response to the announcement was quick to be heard.

“I want to remind the people of Flint that justice delayed is not always justice denied and a fearless and dedicated team of career prosecutors and investigators are hard at work to ensure those who harmed you are held accountable.”

Michigan AG Dana Nessel

“Months of investigation have turned into years, and the only thing to show for it is a bunch of lawyers who have gotten rich off the taxpayers’ dime. The people of Flint believe that they will never see justice, and sadly, so far they’ve been proven right. I hope and expect that this will not be the case for much longer, but until then, I will continue to fight for my city and hold people accountable.”

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D) Flint

The lawyer for Michigan’s former health director says they feel “fantastic and vindicated” by the dismissal of charges in the Flint water scandal.

Chip Chamberlain acknowledged that Nick Lyon could be charged again as prosecutors start a new investigation. But Chamberlain says he’s confident the probe “will yield no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing.”

Lyon was head of the state health department until January. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter and accused of failing to timely inform the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease when Flint was using the Flint River in 2014 and 2015.

The announcement says: there will be no response to any media inquiries until after Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud, and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy, have had an opportunity to speak directly to the people of Flint. A community conversation in Flint has been scheduled for Friday, June 28. Further details will be announced in the coming days.

Effected cases:

People v. Gerald Ambrose, 18-042559-FH

People v. Patrick Cook, 16TC1685

People v. Howard Croft, 16TC2850

People v. Darnell Earley, 16TB2850

People v. Nicolas Lyon, 18-043836-FH

People v. Nancy Peeler, 16TD1685

People v. Robert Scott, 16TE1685

People v. Eden Wells, 18-044241-FH

This story is developing and will be updated.

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