A five-year investigation into the Flint water crisis has now resulted in misdemeanor charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI). Snyder was governor when the crisis occurred, and the charges allege he willfully neglected his duty to protect the people of Flint.
The charges, the Associated Press reported, could result in a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in prison. The outlet called the charges “groundbreaking,” adding that “No governor or former governor in Michigan’s 184-year history had been charged with crimes related to their time in that office, according to the state archivist.”
Brian Lennon, Snyder’s defense attorney, told the AP that he and his client “believe there is no evidence to support any criminal charges against Gov. Snyder.” He also said prosecutors had not provided him with any details about the allegations.
Charges are expected against others in Snyder’s administration, which lasted from 2011 through 2018, including his state health director and a senior