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Indictments for 9 Flint water defendants outline their 42 charges

Gov. Snyder’s former top aide faces the most serious charge with a possible 20-year prison sentence
These nine defendants are facing a total of 42 charges filed for their alleged roles in the...
These nine defendants are facing a total of 42 charges filed for their alleged roles in the Flint water crisis.(source: WJRT)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 7:21 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Grand jury indictments released Thursday reveal more details about the 42 criminal charges filed against nine people -- including former Gov. Rick Snyder -- for their alleged roles in the Flint water crisis.

Snyder is the highest profile defendant to face charges, but his top aide Rich Baird is facing the most serious charges. Former Michigan Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells is facing the most charges with 12.

Here is a look at the allegations against Snyder, seven of his top officials and Flint’s former public works director:

Snyder

  • Willful neglect of duty for allegedly failing to properly supervise employees under his administration
  • Willful neglect of duty for allegedly failing to protect residents by declaring a State of Emergency for Flint.
  • Snyder faces up to one year in jail or a $1,000 fine if convicted.

Baird

  • Perjury during an investigative subpoena review for allegedly making false statements under oath to a special assistant attorney general on March 1, 2017.
  • Misconduct in office for allegedly misusing public resources while working for Snyder.
  • Obstruction of justice for allegedly interfering with ongoing legal investigation of the Flint water crisis.
  • Extortion for allegedly threatening a leader of the Flint Area Community Health and Environmental Partnership during the investigation into a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.
  • Baird faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Wells

  • Nine counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the deaths of John Snyder, Debra Kidd, Brian McHugh, DuWayne Nelson, Nelda Hunt, Peter Derscha, Thomas Mulcahy, Arthur Percy and Patricia Schaffer in July and August 2015 from Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Two counts of misconduct in office for allegedly preventing information about a Legionnaires’ outbreak to be circulated in Genesee County.
  • Willful neglect of duty for allegedly failing to protect the health and welfare of Flint residents.
  • Wells faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Nick Lyon, former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director

  • Nine counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the deaths of John Snyder, Debra Kidd, Brian McHugh, DuWayne Nelson, Nelda Hunt, Peter Derscha, Thomas Mulcahy, Arthur Percy and Patricia Schaffer in July and August 2015 from Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Willful neglect of duty for allegedly failing to protect the health and welfare of Flint residents.
  • Lyon faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Gerald Ambrose, former state-appointed Flint emergency manager

  • Misconduct in office for allegedly allowing the city of Flint to incur debt in violation of Michigan law.
  • Misconduct in office for allegedly failing to switch Flint’s drinking water source back to Detroit’s system when he had knowledge of ongoing water quality and health concerns with the Flint River water being used from January to April 2015.
  • Misconduct in office for allegedly directing a Flint consultant investigating water quality and health concerns not to consider switching the city back to Detroit’s water system in early 2015.
  • Misconduct in office for allegedly committing the city of Flint to a $7 million emergency loan in April 2015 aimed at addressing its ongoing budget deficit shortly before leaving office. The loan allegedly impeded the city’s efforts to switch back to Detroit’s water system.
  • Ambrose faces up for five years in prison if convicted.

Darnell Earley, former state-appointed Flint emergency manager

  • Misconduct in office for allegedly allowing the city of Flint to incur debt in violation of Michigan law.
  • Misconduct in office for allegedly distributing misleading information about the quality of Flint’s drinking water on Jan. 2 and 9, 2015, and refusing to switch the city back to Detroit’s water system when he had concerns about ongoing water quality and health concerns.
  • Earley faces up for five years in prison if convicted.

Nancy Peeler, manager of the Early Childhood Health Section at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

  • Misconduct in office for allegedly concealing the results of an epidemiological analysis concerning elevated blood lead levels of Flint children on July 25, 2015.
  • Misconduct in office for allegedly misrepresenting information concerning elevated blood lead levels of Flint children on Sept. 23, 2015.
  • Willful neglect of duty for allegedly failing to act upon indications of elevated blood lead levels of Flint children from July through September 2015.
  • Peeler faces up for five years in prison if convicted.

Jarrad Agen, former director of communications for the Snyder administration

  • Perjury during an investigative subpoena review for allegedly making false statements under oath to a special assistant attorney general investigating the Flint water crisis on on Feb. 11, 2017.
  • Agen faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Howard Croft, former Flint Department of Public Works director

  • Willful neglect of duty for allegedly failing to communicate the risks of health effects facing the Flint water system.
  • Willful neglect of duty for allegedly failing to communicate concerns about corrosion in the Flint water system.
  • Croft faces up to one year in jail or a $1,000 fine if convicted.

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