The Michigan attorney general's office said the state prosecution of former Gov. Rick Snyder and other officials for their roles in the Flint water scandal has ended. A decision Tuesday by the state Supreme Court to decline to hear appeals of a lower court's dismissal of misdemeanor charges against Snyder "effectively closes the door on the criminal prosecutions of the government officials," said prosecutors, the Associated Press reports.
"At this time the court has left us with no option but to consider the Flint water prosecutions closed."
The Michigan Supreme Court in September rejected a last-chance effort by prosecutors to revive criminal charges. The attorney general's office used an uncommon tool — a one-judge grand jury — to hear evidence and return indictments against nine people, including Snyder. The Supreme Court said the process was unconstitutional, and it struck down the charges as invalid. Snyder was charged with willful neglect of duty. Snyder attorney Brian Lennon said Snyder and his family are "encouraged by what appears to be a declaration by AG (Dana) Nessel of the end of this political persecution of public officials." Managers appointed by Snyder turned the Flint River into a source for water in 2014, but the water wasn't treated to reduce its corrosive impact on old pipes. As a result, lead contaminated the system for 18 months. The state has agreed to pay $600 million as part of a $626 million settlement with residents and property owners who were harmed by lead-tainted water. Most of the money is going to children.