Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Explains Dropping Charges in Flint Water Crisis Case

Prosecutors say they’re launching a new probe into the crisis, and that charges could be re-filed.

The Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Mich.

The Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Mich.

Jake Neher/WDET

Prosecutors have dropped all remaining charges in the Flint Water case.

But they say they’re launching a new probe into the crisis and could still re-file charges against those people and others.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office says this is necessary because “all available evidence was not pursued” when former Attorney General Bill Schuette was in charge of the investigation.

Attorney General Nessel joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to speak further about the decision to drop the charges and start the investigation over again.

Nessel says she think it’s likely many suspects in the Flint water investigation will face charges again. 

She points out the team she appointed to conduct the investigation now has about 20 times the amount of documents it had when the charges were first filed.

“And I expect that what you’ll see is after all of this new evidence has been reviewed, there probably will be many cases that are refiled,” Nessel tells Henderson.

She says she understands why people are frustrated by the delay, but says it’s important to get it right.

“I think that justice delayed is not always justice denied,” she says. “And I feel very bad for the residents of the city of Flint. But all I can say is I wasn’t in office before. I didn’t have the opportunity to handle these cases or to ensure that the right people were handling these cases.”

Nessel has long accused Schuette of allowing politics to drive the investigation, and says her team of investigators confirmed mismanagement in the case.

“When they got in there, all of my deepest concerns came to fruition because, as the criminal team has stated publicly, they had very little in the way of the information that was really out there,” says Nessel.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation. 

Schuette posted a tweet on Thursday saying his office’s investigation into the Flint Water Crisis was “staffed and conducted with the highest level of professionalism and expertise.”


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