Guardian: A team of prosecutors and investigators leading the investigation into the Flint water crisis from 2016 through 2018 were assembling a racketeering case against the architects of a bond deal that residents and experts say sparked the health disaster, sources familiar with the criminal investigation have told the Guardian.
The case – which would have come under the Rico (racketeer-influenced and corrupt organizations) laws often used to charge organized crime groups – was widespread and set to implicate additional state officials who played a role in the poisoning of Flint, according to these sources.
But when the team was suddenly broken up and the investigation restarted with a new set of investigators, the Rico case never materialized.
What happened? Critics point to the Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel.
Running to replace the term-limited Republican attorney general Bill Schuette in 2018, Nessel, a Democrat, criticized the Flint criminal investigation under Schuette as “politically charged show trials” and campaigned on revamping the investigation.
Shortly after Nessel won the attorney general race and took office, her administration fired the top prosecutors and investigators working on the Schuette-launched investigation and restarted the prosecution with a new team.