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Flint Water Crisis

Flint water tower

Flint Water Crisis

Due to a water switch in April 2014 to the City of Flint’s water supply, Flint residents rang the alarm almost immediately about a serious change in their water quality. Although the water supply was switched back to water sourced from Lake Huron in 2015, the damage had been done. 

As a result of the 2014 switch, the Flint Water Crisis has become an ongoing public health crisis that has left a lasting effect on so many who call Flint home.

In early 2016, then Governor Rick Snyder declared a State of Emergency in Genesee County and an investigation was launched by the former Office of Special Counsel— appointed by then Attorney General Bill Schuette. 

In late 2018, Attorney General Dana Nessel was elected and upon taking office in 2019, she made decisions to put a conflict wall in place that allowed her to lead the civil litigation into the Flint Water Crisis. The Office of Special Counsel was no longer needed, and Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy were tapped to lead the criminal investigation.   

See below for more information regarding both the civil litigation and criminal investigation into the Flint Water Crisis. 

Investigation Conflict Wall

To ensure both the civil and criminal sides could perform their duties independently in response to the Flint Water Crisis, and pursuant to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, a conflict wall was established within the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

This process prohibits the exchange of information between staff on either side of the conflict wall, allowing those on the civil litigation side to uphold the office's responsibilities in serving as legal counsel for state agencies and officials, while also allowing the criminal prosecution team to proceed with its independent investigation.

The conflict wall prohibits the two sides from engaging in discussions concerning their respective efforts and ensures the ethical integrity of both civil proceedings and criminal prosecution.

Attorney General Nessel assigned herself to the civil side of the wall and Solicitor General Hammoud was assigned to the criminal side to co-lead the investigation with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy.

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