flint water crisis
A top investigator in the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan announced Tuesday that, depending on how the investigation pans out, state and county officials could face charges as serious as manslaughter.
"We're here to investigate what possible crimes there are, anything [from] involuntary manslaughter or death that may have happened to some young person or old person because of this poisoning, to misconduct in office," said Todd Flood, the special counsel for the state attorney general's office and leader of the Flint investigation. "We take this very seriously."
Flood says investigators will be looking to see if officials committed "gross negligence" or a "breach of duty" in the decision to change the city's water source as a cost-cutting measure and the subsequent handling of the city drinking water's high levels of lead. He also noted that the investigation could reveal officials' response to the issue was simply a result of "honest mistakes."
Since the city switched water sources in April 2014, cases of Legionnaires' disease have increased, with nine cases being deadly. High lead levels in children's blood has also raised concerns about permanent neurological damage.