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As 6th anniversary of Flint water switch approaches, legal wrangling drags on

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

This week, Flint marks the sixth anniversary of the drinking water switch that led to the city’s water crisis.

Improperly treated water drawn from the Flint Riverexposed city residents to lead and other contaminants.

Many people in Flint still do not trust their tap water issafe.

Nor do they trustthat anyone in government will be punished for their handling of the crisis.

In 2019, state prosecutors dropped charges against eight defendants. Seven other defendants reached plea deals with prosecutors in exchange for their cooperation.

Last week, Michigan’s Attorney General’s office put out a statement saying it remains committed to prosecuting anyone criminally responsible for the man-made crisis.

The AG's office says there is a "misconception" that the April 25th anniversary is the deadline to bring charges against those who may be criminally liable.

The water crisis also spurred hundreds of lawsuits.

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court let a lower court ruling stand that government officials cannot claim immunity in this case.

Attorney Michael Pitt is the co-lead counsel in a consolidated federal lawsuit. 

He says settlement discussions with the state are ongoing, though the COVID-19pandemic has “slowed” the process.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.