The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has dismissed all pending criminal charges arising from the Flint drinking water crisis, saying it has instead started over with an expanded investigation.
The office on Thursday announced the dismissal of charges against all eight remaining defendants, including an involuntary manslaughter charge against Nick Lyon, the former director of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Charges were also dismissed against other officials from the health department, plus two former Flint emergency managers and current or former employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Flint.
Fifteen people had been charged under former Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, and special prosecutor Todd Flood. Seven had pleaded no contest to misdemeanors, with expectations their records would eventually be wiped clean.
Since 2016, tens of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ funds have been spent on the investigation and to pay the criminal defense bills of the state and city defendants.
The statement from the office of Attorney General Dana Nessel said the dismissals were a response to problems with the original investigation, launched under Schuette, and don’t preclude recharging the original defendants or adding new ones.