Michigan Deputy Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud dropped all criminal charges Thursday against eight people in the Flint water crisis. Among them is former Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, who was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter. The Associated Press reports that prosecutors are “starting the investigation over again” from scratch.
Lyon stood accused of failing in his duty to inform the Flint community about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that occurred in 2014-15, caused by the led poisoned Flint River—then the source of the city’s water supply—that residents consumed without knowledge.
Hammoud claims that the previous team of prosecutors failed to pursue all available evidence against the accused and they will potentially be charged again.
“This week, we completed the transfer into our possession millions of documents and hundreds of new electronic devices, significantly expanding the scope of our investigation,” Hammoud and Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.
“Our team’s efforts have produced the most comprehensive body of evidence to date related to the Flint water crisis. We are now in the best possible position to find the answers the citizens of Flint deserve and hold all responsible parties accountable.”
According to the Detroit News, in addition to Lyon, charges were pending against seven other people, including former Michigan chief medical executive Eden Wells and two state-appointed emergency managers in Flint.