Though the Governor is likely to escape unscathed, two of Rick Snyder’s appointees who led Flint, Michigan into an environmental disaster have been charged for their role.
Darnell Earley and Jerry Ambrose, both of whom served as emergency manager during the years leading up to the crisis, have been charged with willful neglect of duty and misconduct in office, false pretenses, and conspiracy to commit false pretenses.
Both Earley and Ambrose were appointed by Governor Snyder to take over management of the city, taking power from the Democratic elected officials.
Earley served as manager from October 2013 to January 2015, during the time when the city switched its water sources and began using the pipes which would soon corrode and leak lead into the water supply. Under Earley’s leadership, the chemicals which would have prevented the corrosion of the pipes was not used.
Ambrose replaced Earley in early 2015 and continued his corrupt work.
According to ThinkProgress:
“One of the moves made to save money was changing the city’s water source. While Earley has claimed it wasn’t his decision to make that switch, a reportfrom a state investigatory panel found that it was emergency managers and not local officials who made that decision, which was the first step in the contamination crisis.
The crisis could potentially have been avoided, however, if corrosion control chemicals, which coat lead pipes and prevent the toxin from leeching into drinking water, had been added to the water. The failure to use those chemicals was also reportedly thanks to an attempt at saving money.”
Two other officials were also charged on Tuesday: Howard Craft, the man who was tasked with leading the Flint’s Department of Public Works, as well as Daugtery Johnson, the former utilities administrator. Both were charged with false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses.
We applaud these charges and hope that justice continues to climb up the chain of command all the way to criminal governor Rick Snyder.