Felony charges against seven state officials linked to the 2014 Flint, Michigan, water crisis have been dismissed by Genesee County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Kelly.
The six-page decision follows a June state Supreme Court ruling it unconstitutional for a judge using a one-man jury to indict people without a preliminary examination.
The taxpayer cost of the 2014 Flint water crisis litigation might grow to as much as $90 million after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected Attorney General Dana Nessel’s appeal of a decision that she must use a “taint team” to separate legal documents.
The court said justices were “not persuaded that the question presented should be reviewed by this Court.”
A Genesee County judge denied Attorney General Dana Nessel’s request to overturn a Nov. 19 order that Michigan stop using documents that might violate attorney-client privilege until reviewed by independent investigators.
The Associated Press first reported the story.
Emails obtained by the conservative Michigan Rising Action show Nessel’s prosecutors were warned they acquired records protected by attorney-client privilege when they gained access to as many as 20 million documents related to the Flint Water Crisis.
U.S. District Judge Judith Levy gave final approval to the $626.25 million settlement for victims of the Flint lead-contamination water crisis.
“The court is persuaded that the over $600 million settlement is a fair and sensible resolution of the claims against the settling defendants,” Levy wrote in a 178-page opinion. “The complexity and volume of this litigation present significant risks and potentially great expense to all parties if the cases were to be tried.”
Attorney General Mark Brnovich is leading a coalition of attorneys general in filing a petition challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s “Delay Rule,” which postponed the Trump Administration’s Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR).
“While the Biden Administration talks a lot about preserving clean air and water for future generations, they have failed to ensure clean drinking water for our children now,” Brnovich said in a news release on Friday.
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and several of his top aides were reportedly told that they will face charges for their role in the Flint Water Crisis, which began in 2014 and left the city of approximately 100,000 without clean water for years.
Two people aware of the charges told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the Michigan attorney general’s office has made their defense lawyers aware of the coming charges and told them to shortly expect court appearances. The nature of the charges against Snyder, a Republican, former heath department director Nick Lyon and other his aides remained unknown.
The state of Michigan has reached a $641 million settlement in the Flint civil lawsuits with parties who claimed harm from the switch of its public water supply to the Flint River in 2014.
The state previously reached a $600 million preliminary settlement in August.
The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $600 million to Flint, Michigan residents in a settlement stemming from the 2014 water crisis.
The settlement established a court-monitored compensation fund, which will send payments Flint residents, CNN reported Thursday. The majority of the money, about 80%, will be paid to residents who were younger than 18 at the time of the crisis.