On Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that two former emergency managers, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to run the city, would be among the four defendants charged with crimes related to the Flint water crisis.
In response to the announcement, Lansing mayor Virg Bernero quickly defended Jerry Ambrose (a former Lansing city and Ingham County official), one of the defendants:
“I’ve known Jerry Ambrose for over 25 years. He is one of the most humble and decent public servants I have encountered. Jerry has always answered the call of public service and served admirably. Residents of Lansing are particularly indebted to him for helping to lead Lansing through the worst of economic times. I know Jerry to be a man of the highest character who would never knowingly endanger the public health. I am confident he will be fully vindicated.”
Also charged was Darnell Earley, Flint emergency manager at the time the city changed its water source to the Flint River in April 2014. Howard Croft, former Department of Public Works director and Daughtery Johnson, former utilities administrator for the city, were also charged.
These new charges bring the number of defendants to 13.
“Charges against Earley and Ambrose are false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, willful neglect of duty and misconduct in office. Charges against Johnson and Croft are false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses”, reports the article.
Flint’s water system became contaminated with lead because water from the Flint River wasn’t properly treated for 18 months. For more information about the problem, you can read about that here and here.