The charges come as new reporting indicates the former Governor was aware of a Legionnaires' outbreak linked to the water crisis months before he acknowledged it.
Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday with two counts of wilful neglect of duty for his role in the deadly and ongoing Flint water crisis, news that comes in the wake of a report indicating Snyder was aware of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak linked to the emergency months before he acknowledged it in public.
According to court records, Michigan prosecutors have charged the former Republican Governor with misdemeanors that each carry up to one year in jail or a maximum fine of $1,000 - a punishment that Flint resident and activist Melissa Mays denounced as 'beyond disgusting and insulting'.
Mays tweeted late Wednesday:
The Wall Street Journal reported that:
The meager but groundbreaking charges against Snyder - the first governor in Michigan's 184-year history to be charged with crimes related to their time in office - were made public following a bombshell report by Jordan Chariton and Jenn Dize for The Intercept. They obtained documents suggesting that Snyder 'knew about a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Flint as early as October 2014, when there was still a significant amount of time to save lives'.
Chariton and Dize reported, citing documents and unnamed sources familiar with the probe:
Further, Chariton and Dize wrote:
Evidence indicating Snyder knew of the Legionnaires' disease outbreak - which killed at least a dozen people and likely many more - in October of 2014 contradicts the then-Governor's sworn testimony before Congress in 2016, when Snyder told lawmakers he first learned of the outbreak that January.
As reported in The Intercept:
Chariton and Dize added:
In a statement posted to Twitter shortly before news of the charges broke late Wednesday, Mays said she was 'very apprehensive that the charges will be minor compared to the damage still being done to Flint residents'.
She said, further:
This article was published by Common Dreams under the title '"That Is Not Justice!" Outrage as Snyder Hit With Just Two Misdemeanor Counts Over Role in Flint Water Crisis' and is republished under a Creative Commons Licence.