Michigan is preparing to charge former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and other former officials over the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, The Associated Press reports.
Snyder was governor when the majority-Black city was moved to an untreated, lead-contaminated water source. Snyder, his former health department director Nick Lyon, and other members of the Snyder administration were told they would soon face unspecified charges, two people with knowledge of the planned prosecution told AP.
In 2014, state-appointed officials moved Flint's water source to the Flint River to save money as a new pipeline was built to Lake Huron. The water wasn't treated for contamination from the old, corroding pipes the water ran through, yet state regulators signed off on the move anyway. Bacteria in the river water was meanwhile attributed to an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease in the city of 100,000 people, leading to at least 12 deaths. Snyder and Lyon didn't acknowledge the outbreak until 2016, though Lyon admitted he knew of the Legionnaire's cases earlier.
Lyon was charged in 2018 with involuntary manslaughter over allegations he didn't warn the public about the dangerous water source. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) dropped those charges against Lyon and other officials in 2019. The attorney general's office did not acknowledge the reported charges but told AP it would "share more as soon as we're in a position to do so."