LANSING (WJRT) (2/21/2019) - The prosecution team for the Flint water crisis criminal cases is getting a new look.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Thursday that she is shifting her personal focus to the civil cases, so she can't deal with the criminal cases.
She said there currently are 79 separate civil cases pending in the courts related to the water crisis. Nessel will be working to settle the cases amicably with the help of her office.
Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud will take over the lead role in prosecuting the criminal cases. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy will be joining her as a co-lead prosecutor for all the cases.
Special Prosecutor Todd Flood, who has been leading the cases since they were filed in July 2017, will remain on the prosecution team. However, Hammoud said he will have a different role as an assistant attorney general after joining Nessel's office.
Flood no longer will work as an outside contractor for the Attorney General's Office. Hammoud said it was important to her and Nessel that the office directly handle all aspects of the case.
"This case is about the people of Flint and this case should be led by the people's law firm," Hammoud said.
Dozens of current and former state and local officials have been charged with crimes related to the Flint water crisis. Many of them are accused of misconduct in office and manslaughter for allegedly waiting nearly a year to alert the public to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak.
Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and former Chief Medical Official Eden Wells have been bound over to trial. Both are appealing the decision to send their cases to trial, however.
In taking over the cases, Hammoud said she has only one preconceived notion: "The people of Flint were wronged." She said she does not have any preconceived notions about who should be charged.
Hammoud said she was still looking over the status of all the individual cases being prosecuted. She did not announce any new charges or charges being dropped against anyone involved in the water crisis.