This is a developing story. Check for updates below.
Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, his health director and other former state officials have been told they will be charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
Two people with knowledge of the planned prosecution told the AP on Tuesday that the MI attorney general's office has informed defense lawyers about indictments in Flint and told them to expect initial court appearances soon. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Corrosive river water caused lead to leach from pipes, contaminating the drinking water and causing an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. The problem was the water was untreated and did not reduce corrosion.
In August 2020, the state of MI reached a $600 million settlement to compensate residents whose health was damaged by the tainted water.
Snyder was the governor at the time when state leaders switched the predominately Black city's water supply to the Flint River in 2014 to save money while a pipeline to Lake Huron was being developed.
In a statement shared Tuesday, Snyder's attorney said a criminal prosecution would be "outrageous" and accused the Office of Special Counsel of targeting the former governor in a political escapade. AP said it did not know what the nature of the charges was. "Coming from an administration that claims to be above partisan politics, it is deeply disappointing to see pure political motivation driving charging decisions".
Baird served as Snyder's point man in Flint throughout the crisis.