Schuette, investigator: Flint inquiry could lead to manslaughter charges

flintThe lawyer in charge of state Attorney General Bill Schuette’s investigation into the Flint water crisis says some people may be charged with serious crimes before it’s all over.

Todd Flood says criminal charges could include official misconduct by public officials and involuntary manslaughter, depending on what the investigation uncovers. The inquiry will cover both the lead contamination of the drinking water, and outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease that caused 10 deaths.

“We’ll hold those accountable that need to be held accountable if it’s there to be found,” Flood said at a roundtable with reporters.

“We’re here to investigate what possible crimes there are, from anything to the involuntary manslaughter or death that may have happened to some young person or older person because of this poisoning, to misconduct in office. We take this very seriously.”

Flood says the nine-person investigation team can also use investigative subpoenas and convene a grand jury, if necessary. All of that would be secret, by law. Flood says he could seek e-mails and other records from the governor’s office.

Schuette said his office operates independent of the governor’s office.

“We’re going to have a full and complete investigation,” he said. “…Where the truth goes, that’s where we’ll go.”

Schuette says restitution for Flint residents harmed by the water contamination is also part of the inquiry. There’s no word on when the investigation might wrap up.