Former Michigan Governor Faces Charges for Flint Water Disaster

Former Michigan Governor Faces Charges For Flint Water Disaster

( – The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, was one of the biggest news stories of 2014 and 2015. After city officials decided to temporarily draw the local water supply from the Flint River, residents became aware of changes in the appearance of the water, as well as its taste. City officials denied there was a problem for over a year after the first complaint about an issue with the water supply.

The Development of the Story

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted tests in 2015, which revealed there was an unsafe lead content in the water supply. Consumption of lead is linked to a host of health problems.

Flint residents continue to struggle with poor water quality; to date, 12 deaths and around 80 illnesses have been attributed to people consuming the water.

Incidentally, the crisis gave us what was perhaps the most cringeworthy gaffe of Barack Obama’s presidency. The video below shows Obama asking for a glass of the city’s tap water to reassure citizens in 2016.

New Court Proceedings

Some of those who were in charge in Michigan at the time of the crisis are now being held accountable. On Thursday, January 14, prosecutors announced charges against nine officials, including former State Governor Rick Snyder (R). Snyder will face up to a year in prison if convicted of willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor charge. The former governor pleaded not guilty to two counts of this charge when he appeared before the court.

Other officials face more serious charges. Michigan’s former health director, Nick Lyon, could face up to 15 years in jail if he’s convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors dropped previous charges in 2019. They committed to a more thorough investigation at the time.

While this issue has not featured as heavily in national and international news since it first broke, it remains an everyday burden for the citizens of Flint, Michigan. Those directly affected by the crisis will be observing these court proceedings closely in the weeks and months to come.

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