MichMash: Flint water criminal prosecutions ends with no charges, frustrated residents

The Michigan Supreme Court issued an order last month refusing the state’s appeal of lower court decisions to dismiss charges against former Governor Rick Snyder.

The Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Mich.

The Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Mich.

After seven years of criminal prosecutions in relation to the Flint water crisis, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office is ending its pursuit of charges related to the case. Detroit News reporter Beth LeBlanc sat down with MichMash host Cheyna Roth to unpack why the prosecution came up empty handed. 

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In this episode:

  • Dana Nessel’s office ending Flint water crisis criminal prosecution with no convictions in the seven years of the pursuit
  • Flint residents reaction to the Attorney General Office’s decision and the Michigan Supreme Court ruling
  • Michigan Voting maps

The decision to drop the case came after the Michigan Supreme Court refused the state’s appeal of lower court decisions to dismiss charges against former Governor Rick Snyder. The prosecution would now have to start from the beginning in order to retry the criminal prosecution. Many Flint residents, though not surprised, are frustrated with court’s ruling, LeBlanc said.  

“There was incredible frustration, there was incredible outrage over the end of this and yet–not shock because of the way things have developed in the last couple of years,” she said. “They have seen a lot of ups and downs in the case so this was just another one for them but it was one that came with a lot of finality.”  

LeBlanc is also covering a multi-day trial determining the legality of Michigan’s voting maps.

The federal trial scrutinizes nine metro Detroit legislative districts drawn by the Michigan Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission, with the plaintiffs arguing that the group’s redistricting strategies violated the civil rights of Black voters and legislators. 

“If the devil is in the details, redistricting is hell.” LeBlanc said.

If the judges determine that districts were improperly drawn, then they’ll need be redrawn, which carries a lot of repercussions that may affect where representatives serve and even the national election. 

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.