Former Flint water prosecutor says 'patience is a virtue' with new investigation

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 5:26 PM EDT
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(6/26/2020) - “This is a big deal. There's no question about it. This is a significant moment," Todd Flood said.

He’s the man who led the criminal investigation into the Flint Water crisis for three years. Flood said he’s confident justice is coming for the people of Flint.

This as Former Governor Rick Snyder wraps up his testimony Friday in several civil cases tied to the Water Emergency.

Snyder answered questions about what his staff knew and when.

The former special prosecutor in charge of the criminal investigation was fired in early 2019. Just months later, the new team in the Attorney General's Office dropped all pending cases.

With movement in the civil cases now, Flood had a message for the people of Flint -- stay patient and hopeful.

“I love my, my citizens of Flint. I love my friends in Flint,” he said. “Be resilient, be patient. You have great lawyers working for you, you have great staff working for you, you have great public servants working for you.”

Attorney Flood said former Governor Rick Snyder being compelled to undergo a deposition is a big win, a significant step towards justice for the people of Flint.

The two-day hearing is only happening because a court ruled Snyder is allowed to talk about what and when his staff knew about the water crisis.

The legal battle over the full extent of Snyder's governmental immunity is still playing out in the courts.

The first time Snyder testified under oath was to Congress in March 2016. He said he found out about the 2014 and 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in January 2016.

But, his aide Harvey Hollins said he told him in December 2015.

A key discrepancy Flood brought to light in one of the criminal cases, when he put Hollins on the stand.

“Think about it. They don't know where exactly the coronavirus is right, but they publish it every single day and they tell you the protocols and they tell you to stay at home,” Flood said. “Think about Flint for a moment. Legionella was out there right, but no one got notice. Just think if we got information that gave us notice in Flint, our loved ones could have survived.”

Ethically Flood couldn't say if he was close to criminally charging Snyder before he was fired; but he said, he believes the new criminal team will be listening to what Snyder shares.

“Patience is going to be the virtue here,” Flood said. “I do believe, ultimately, that justice will come on both sides -- on both the civil side for making people whole and bringing people back some remuneration, some money in their pockets, hopefully; and that justice in the criminal side will be served as well."

Because Snyder is giving a deposition in a civil case what he says will not be available to the public for some time.