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18th February 2022
...continued from PART 1

PMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo declined to comment.

Why Nessel, who stressed justice for Flint as an attorney general hopeful, and the prosecution team she selected, dropped already-filed financial fraud charges against state and city officials is an open question. For many who have extensively followed and studied the Flint water crisis, Nessel’s moves don’t make sense.

“I never understood why the attorney general disrupted the initial investigation, dropped the initial charges, or set a different direction in her new charges that chart a course away from the issues of financing the KWA pipeline,” Peter Hammer, a Wayne State law professor who wrote an extensive civil rights report on the Flint water crisis, said.

“Her decisions mean that some of the most important questions relating to the crisis – the political and economic forces driving the KWA pipeline – are not being addressed. This adds a new tragedy for the people of Flint, who deserve to know the root causes of their suffering and to hold any financial wrongdoing accountable,” added Hammer.

The Flint water crisis now enters year eight. Both Nessel and Whitmer are standing for re-election. Meanwhile, the population of Flint has fallen to fewer than 95,000 residents, the lowest in more than a century. Not all of the city’s lead service lines have been replaced and residents’ deteriorating home plumbing, also damaged from the toxic Flint River water, have not been addressed.

Residents still complain of rashes, hair loss and other ailments from the city’s drinking water.

The Flint criminal investigation under Nessel did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment before publication.

Jordan Chariton is an investigative reporter and the CEO of Status Coup News, an independent news outlet that covers political corruption, protest movements, working-class exploitation and overlooked communities. Charlie LeDuff is a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter based in Michigan