Attorney Andrew Abood examines criminal charges against former governor Rick Snyder

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 9:59 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Former Michigan governor Rick Snyder is charged with willful neglect of duty in the Flint water crisis.

Trial attorney Andrew Abood from Abood Law Firm gives his legal expertise on the matter; stating that the charges “carry a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail -- or a fine of up to $1,000.”

“It’s potential that he wouldn’t get any jail time at all,” he said.

The charges against former governor Rick Snyder come years after the city of Flint switched its water source to the Flint River.

That switch is blamed for lead in the city’s water that poisoned children and killed at least a dozen people from Legionnaires disease.

Snyder and members of his administration have been accused of knowing about the problems and covering them up.

“It’s an intentional act, when you have certain duties as a public officer or public servant and you intentionally neglect to perform those duties,” said Abood.

He maintains that the prosecution will require a significant amount of resources,

“Generally, these aren’t the types of cases where they have video evidence, they have a confession or they have eyewitnesses. It’s usually, this is a paper case where they’re trying to prove intent,” he said.

He says this lack of proof makes this case harder than a typical prosecution.

“Decisions were made that resulted in the death of too many people,” said Abood. “But if they had thought he was responsible for the deaths, he might have been charged with something else, like manslaughter.”

He says from the government’s perspective, it’s an attempt to bring closure to the city of Flint.

The indictment filed by the Michigan Attorney General’s office is historic.

No governor -- or former governor in Michigan’s history -- has ever been charged with crimes related to their time in office.

Attorney General Nessel is expected to announce charges against others-including some in the former Snyder administration.

You can watch the press conference live Thursday at 11:30 a.m. on the WILX website, WILX mobile app, or the WILX Facebook page.

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