New search warrants served in Flint water criminal investigation
(11/07/19) - At least five search warrants have been served to two Michigan government departments, one as early as this week, in connection to the Flint water crisis criminal investigation.
It's very critical to see some movement in the investigation, not only to bring justice to victims of the water crisis who've been waiting, but because the statute of limitations runs out in April in some of the criminal cases.
The two departments are the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and EGLE, formerly the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
Community activist Arthur Woodson, who's been personally impacted by the water emergency, said he's content with how the investigation is moving forward.
"I'm pleased with how they're taking their time. I'm pleased with how they're not letting information out so that it's not alerting people that's being investigated," Woodson said.
ABC12 confirmed with EGLE that the department was served this week, while MDHHS says that the department was served in May, August, September and October of 2019.
On June 13th 2019, all pending criminal cases tied to the water emergency were dropped by the new investigative team, which is led by Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud.
"I feel that just warrants, are a tiny bit of progress for the amount of time we have left before our statute of limitations runs out," said Flint resident Florlisa Fowler.
While some people are frustrated by how long the investigation is taking, Woodson says he's happy to know that new information is being uncovered.
"You look at Bob Mueller that was investigating President Trump's campaign, it took almost two years for him to do that and there were not as many players in that than it is in the city of Flint with the water crisis," Woodson said.
"I am very disappointed they haven't made more progress since our last meeting at the UAW hall this past summer. We are still disheartened they haven't been in court yet working towards prosecution. We need a federal investigation to take this over, as the State is not giving Flint the due justice it deserves investigating itself," Fowler said.
While prosecutors are working quietly behind the scenes putting together the pieces of this investigation, there's still an issue of trust.
Jamie Gaskin, chief executive officer of the United Way of Genesee County, says there's still "high demand" for bottled water at all three of the charity's designated help centers. Until people regain that trust, he expects the demand to continue.
ABC12 asked the attorney general's office for more information about these warrants and the pending investigation.
A communications representative delivered this statement:
"The Flint Water Crisis prosecution team continues to deploy an expansive range of investigative strategies – including but not limited to search warrants – to aggressively obtain and evaluate information within the scope of their ongoing investigation," Courtney Convington said.