Nine people, including former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), were charged in connection with the Flint water crisis, the state attorney general’s office announced Thursday.
News of charges against Snyder, two counts of willful neglect of duty, had previously been reported.
The attorney general’s office also announced charges against Nicolas Lyon, the former director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS); Eden Wells, former Michigan chief medical executive; Nancy Peeler, manager of MDHHS’s early childhood health section; Gerald Ambrose, former Flint emergency manager; Darnell Earley, former Flint emergency manager; Jarrod Agen, former chief of staff in Snyder’s office; Richard Baird, a former adviser to Snyder; and Howard Croft, former Flint public works director.
The charges against Snyder carry penalties of up to one year in prison or a $1,000 fine each. The charges against some of the other officials carry greater prison time.
Lyon and Wells were charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter, each of which could result in a 15-year prison sentence and Baird was charged with extortion, a 20-year felony.
The charges announced Thursday were not the first charges in the Flint water crisis. In 2019, previous charges were dropped as prosecutors restarted the investigation.
The attorney general’s office said that it could not discuss the underlying evidence behind the new charges.
In 2014, Michigan allowed the city of Flint to get its water from the Flint River, which ultimately resulted in tainted water flowing to people's taps.
In addition to lead contamination, the decision has been linked to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak that killed 12 people.
The individuals who were charged turned themselves in to Genesee County jail and have been arraigned.