Prosecutors Seize Dozens of Mobile Devices as Part of Criminal Investigation into Flint Water Crisis

The Attorney General’s Office of Michigan has seized mobile devices used by former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and 65 current or former officials as part of a criminal investigation into lead-tainted water and the 2014-2015 outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the city of Flint.

According to The Associated Press, the state owns the seized equipment; evidence was actually already in the possession of a particular division of the AG’s office. Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud is helping run the investigation, and sought search warrants two weeks ago. Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is not participating in the criminal investigation because she is handling lawsuits filed against the state over the water crisis.

Snyder was governor when the water crisis began in 2014.

Officials briefly changed the source of Flint’s water supply for 18 months starting in 2014, but this exposed residents to increased levels of lead because the water wasn’t treated for corrosion. It also allegedly resulted in about 100 cases of Legionnaire’s Disease and cost 12 others their lives. Former state Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon remains the highest-ranked official to be charged in the case.

The search warrants cover devices that previously belonged to officials like Snyder, and former Environmental Quality director Dan Wyant. A May 19 warrant requested everything from the former governor’s cellphone, iPad, and hard drive.

[Image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images]

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