The Flint Water Prosecution Team is scheduled to announce its findings at a news conference Thursday morning after former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and former Flint Public Works director Howard Croft were each charged Wednesday.
CNN has reached out to an attorney for Snyder and an attorney for Croft for comment on the charges.
Flint has been exposed to extremely high levels of lead since 2014 when city and state officials switched the city’s water supply from the Detroit Water System to the contaminated Flint River in an effort to cut costs.
The switch was supposed to be temporary while a new supply line to Lake Huron was completed. When the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality failed to treat the corrosive water, it ate into the city’s iron and lead pipes and leached into the drinking water.
The contaminated water led to two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia caused by bacteria.
More than a dozen lawsuits and a $600 million settlement
Brian Lennon, an attorney for Snyder, said earlier Wednesday that his client was being made into a scapegoat by a politically driven special counsel. Lennon called reports that his client would be charged “meritless” and part of a “political escapade.”
An attorney for Croft told The Detroit News that his client was informed Monday he would be charged.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office had no comment about the charges Wednesday evening.
More than a dozen lawsuits, including several class-action suits, were filed against the state, the city of Flint and some state and city employees involved in the decision to switch the source of the drinking water and those responsible for monitoring water quality.
The Legionnaires’ outbreak led to criminal charges against state officials, including Nick Lyon, then-director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in 2017.
CNN’s Taylor Romine and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.