FLINT (WJRT) (12/29/17) - 15 state and Flint City employees are facing criminal charges in the wake of the water emergency.
These are people the Attorney General's Office says are responsible for not properly treating the Flint River water after the switch, leading to a high number of Legionnaire's Disease cases; and, without the proper corrosion control, the AG says the pipes corroded, causing lead poisoning.
City worker Daugherty Johnson has taken a plea deal, along with his coworker Michael Glasgow, MDEQ's Adam Rosenthal and the state health department's Corinne Miller.
"He gave so much flesh to the bones of this case, disclosing the fraud, disclosing the players that were involved," explained Special Prosecutor Todd Flood.
That's why he worked with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and Attorney General Bill Schuette to strike each deal, dropping their felony charges.
Flood said the four have agreed to cooperate, testifying against the 11 other defendants. They have to be truthful on the stand, or they could be re-charged.
Miller has already taken the stand in Health Department Chief Nick Lyon's preliminary hearing.
Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells have been in court for months. In each case, a Judge is working to determine if the testimony against them is enough to send their cases to a jury trial.
"I'm not gonna put a clock on it, I'm just gonna do it right," Flood explained.
The AG's Office says 12 people died of Legionnaire's Disease, a respiratory illness they say resulted from the City's water switch to the Flint River in April 2014. Those deaths prompted 6 involuntary manslaughter charges.
Lyon's is connected to Robert Skidmore who died in December 2015.
"He always had a joke and he loved my granddaughter and whenever we'd come over he'd have to come and see Paige and he was just an all-around nice guy," Skidmore's friend, Barbard Bard said.
Wells' charge is linked to John Phillip Snyder's death in June 2015.
His daughter, Mary Anne Tribble, took the stand in Wells' preliminary hearing. "He was very active," she said. "He ran the Crim, he was downhill skier, he traveled across the country. He traveled to Europe, he traveled to China."
Also revealed in court this year, testimony from one of Governor Snyder's aids, Harvey Hollins, suggesting the emergency could have been declared sooner.
"Did you ever tell the Governor at some point in time about legionella?" Flood asked Hollins.
"Later in 2015," Hollins replied.
"When was that you told him?" Flood asked.
"December 2015," Hollins said.
Testifying before Congress, though, Governor Rick Snyder said, "In terms of legionnaires', I didn't learn of that until 2016, and as soon as I became aware of it, we held a press conference the next day."
The Governor has said he stands by his testimony to Congress.
Lyon and Wells, as well as former emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose and Flint's Howard Croft, are due back in court for preliminary hearings in January.
The AG's Office said it's possible even more people may find themselves in court over decisions made in the water emergency.