In Flint Water Probe, Phone of Ex-Governor and Dozens of Officials Seized
By Theresa Braine
The investigation into the Flint water crisis has expanded as state-owned cell phones and devices for 65 current and former officials have been seized since mid-May, including those of ex-Gov. Rick Snyder.
Pulled out of storage were Snyder's iPhone, iPad and hard drive, according to CNN.
In addition the warrant obtained by the Associated Press rounds up information from 22 state Health and Human Services employees, 11 Department of Environmental Quality employees and at least 33 employees in the governor's office, CNN reported.
"The prosecution is aware of substantial potential evidence that was not provided to the original prosecution team from the onset of the investigation," Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud told CNN. "The team is currently in the process of obtaining this evidence through a variety of means, including search warrants. The team is also conducting a thorough review of existing and newly received evidence pertaining to the Flint Water Crisis."
The Republican governed Michigan from 2011 through January of this year, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, was sworn in, according to CNN. His lawyer, Brian Lennon, told AP Monday he could not comment on pending litigation.
The seizures are part of a criminal investigation into the 2014-15 crisis in which the city's water supply became contaminated with lead, and there was a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. The damage happened during cost-cutting measures enacted by Snyder and his Republican government.
So far 15 current or former officials have been charged, AP said, but no one is locked up. They were some of the people whose devices were seized, but the warrants issued May 19 encompass others who have not been charged, of which Snyder is one.
"We want everyone who played a role in this to be held accountable at every level, from the top to the bottom," Flint mayor Karen Weaver told WNEM-TV in Michigan, calling it a step in the right direction. "My reaction is probably like a lot of Flint residents, happy about it."
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