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Flint water prosecutions end following a Michigan Supreme Court decision

Head and shoulders close up view of Snyder, who is smiling slightly and looking out of the frame. The background is blurred. Snyder's wearing a dark jacket and patterned blue tie with a Michigan-shaped lapel bin.
Al Goldis/AP
FR11125 AP
Then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Jan. 23, 2018. The Michigan attorney general's office said Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, that the state prosecution of former Gov. Snyder and other officials for their roles in the Flint water scandal has ended.

In 2014, an emergency manager switched the city’s water source to the Flint River, which caused aging pipes to leach lead and other contaminants into the water supply used for drinking and bathing.

(MPRN) After seven years, the state is done pursuing criminal prosecutions in the Flint water crisis cases. That’s after the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday refusing the state’s appeal of lower court decisions to dismiss charges against former Governor Rick Snyder.

The Supreme Court order lets stand lower court rulings that the attorney general’s Flint prosecution team mishandled the case by using a special one-person grand jury that combined the roles of judge and prosecutor.

Using the language typical in refusing an appeal, the unsigned order said, “… we are not persuaded the question presented should be reviewed by this court.”

The ruling appears to being to an end efforts by the state to hold public officials criminally accountable for actions taken while Flint was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager.

In an unsigned statement, the Attorney General’s Flint prosecution team called the decision “a tragic ending” to efforts to hold public officials accountable for the Flint water disaster.

“Our disappointment in the Michigan Supreme Court is exceeded only by our sorrow for the people of Flint,” the statement said.

The team also promised “a thorough report” detailing the reasons behind decisions made on the prosecutions. That report is supposed to be released sometime next year.