FLINT (AP) (4/29/2019) - A special prosecutor who spent three years leading a criminal investigation of the Flint water crisis has been dismissed.
Dan Olsen, a spokesman for the Michigan attorney general, says Todd Flood's contract was terminated.
Attorney General Dana Nessel put Solicitor General Fatwa Hammoud over Flood after she took office in January. But he was still on the team and had appeared at court hearings.
In a statement Hammoud issued Monday, she said Flood's contract was terminated effective April 16 because it "recently became clear that discovery was not fully and properly pursued from the onset of this investigation."
The Attorney General's Office disclosed on Friday that several boxes of evidence previously unknown to prosecutors were found in a storage area, containing potentially millions of new documents related to the cases.
"The decision to terminate Mr. Flood’s contract reflects our ongoing commitment to execute the highest standards in the prosecution of the Flint Water Crisis," Hammoud's statement says. "Our standards demand a full accounting of all evidence that may inform the People’s investigation."
Flood declined comment when reached by phone Monday.
Fifteen people have been charged in an investigation of how Flint's water became contaminated with lead as well as a related outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. Seven have pleaded no-contest to misdemeanors.
Former Michigan health director Nick Lyon has been ordered to trial for involuntary manslaughter in the Legionnaires' outbreak. The decision is being appealed.
Flood was hired in 2016 by then-Attorney General Bill Schuette.
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Response from Todd Flood:
"It has been my honor and privilege to work for the citizens of Flint. I am truly humbled by the experience. Our focus for the past three years has been to bring justice to the good people of Flint.
In the time we have spent in Flint, we interviewed over 400 people, reviewed millions of pages of discovery, and took pleas to advance the investigation. We conducted multiple court hearings and preliminary exams, placed hundreds of exhibits into evidence, and successfully
bound defendants over for trial.
This complex case of official wrong-doing and betrayal of public trust has been prosecuted with the utmost attention to the professional standards that justice demands. I walk away knowing that I gave everything I had to give to this case. The people of Flint deserved nothing less."
Todd F. Flood