Seven former officials cleared of charges in Michigan water crisis case

Charges have been dismissed against seven former officials involved in the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.

Judge Elizabeth A. Kelly of the Genesee Circuit Court claimed the indictments issued against the officials were invalid.

The decision

“As stated earlier, this Court is bound by the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision … Because the one-person grand jury does not have the power to issue indictments, the indictments issued in the felony Flint water cases were void,” Kelly wrote in her decision. 

Therefore, anything arising out of the invalid indictments are irreconcilably tainted from inception,” she added.

The people

“The ruling wipes out criminal charges against Nick Lyon, former director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Snyder’s former senior adviser Richard Baird; former Flint emergency managers Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley; Dr. Eden Wells, the former chief medical executive for MDHHS; Jarrod Agen, former director of communications and former chief of staff for Snyder; and Nancy Peeler, who served as the Early Childhood Health Section manager at MDHHS,” MLive reported.

The ruling also dismissed charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder.

At least 12 people died related to the water crisis, but no one has been held legally responsible for the actions.

The use of water from the Flint River in 2014 without proper treatment led to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, leaving nearly 100,000 people without clean water.

The issue has still not been completely resolved and many still seek justice over the situation.