Nearly four years since Flint, Michigan declared a state of emergency over the state of its water, prosecutors have decided to drop all criminal charges brought against eight government officials who were believed to responsible for the crisis, CNN reports.
Prosecutors said on Thursday (June 13) they had concerns about the investigation and legal theories suggested by the former Office of Special Counsel (OSC) who oversaw the investigation, according to a press release issued by the Michigan Department of Attorney General.
“We cannot provide the citizens of Flint the investigation they rightly deserve by continuing to build on a flawed foundation,” Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy, said.
Prosecutors also noted that “the voluntary dismissal is not a determination of any defendant’s criminal responsibility.”
The Flint community reportedly feels blindsided by the decision, but the Mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver said the dismissal gives her “hope.” “I am happy to see that this case is being handled with the seriousness and dogged determination that it should have been handled with from the beginning,” Weaver told CNN.
Weaver also claimed the prosecution’s mishandling of the case was “an entire administration’s clear lack of respect for human life and common decency, another attempt to cover up what should have never happened to begin with.”
The prosecution team promises to open a new probe into the Flint Water Crisis at a later date.