Flint water town hall: New investigation has 9-month deadline or charges can't be filed

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The Michigan Attorney General dropped all pending criminal charges in the Flint water crisis.

Now prosecutors have nine months left before the statute of limitations for misconduct runs out. The new team of prosecutors is highly critical of the first criminal investigation - even saying at Friday night's town hall - "was this even a real investigation?" 

"How does this happen," said one woman. "How does this happen everybody?"

"This news is like being hit in the back of the head with a two by four," said another woman.

Looking for answers, Flint residents are looking toward a new team of investigators starting over in the Flint water crisis case.

"Have the right people been charged? Have they been charged with the right crimes?" said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. "Have the wrong people been charged? How can you charge anyone when you don't have the information?” 

"And who else is out there that hasn't been charged," said Fadwa Hammoud, solicitor general. 

That was the message Hammoud and special prosecutor Worthy wanted to drive home at the town hall.

"I'm not here to bash any particular person," Worthy said. "I'm here to tell you how an investigation should be done."

That new investigation was launched after AG Dana Nessel dropped charges against nine city and state officials in connection to the crisis. They harshly criticized the previous investigation launched by former AG Bill Schuette that cost taxpayers $30 million in three years.

"We just don't trust what's been given to us anymore," Hammoud said. "And we will not take anyone's word for this." 

Hammoud and Worthy say they dropped the charges to legally allow them to use new evidence including millions of forgotten documents and electronic devices overlooked to charge and recharge.

Residents were split, with optimism from some.

"I want to thank you guys for coming in," said one woman. "From the bottom of my heart."

"We want justice, I want justice, I believe you all want it too," said another.

There were valid concerns from others. 

"We appreciate you and take you at your word, but at the same time we are going to be holding you accountable," said one resident.

The new team said they will go where the evidence takes them and no one is off the table. 

"We need to put Flint water at the focal point and everyone else can have a seat," Hammoud said.

Time is not on these investigators' side - we learned they have nine months to file charges before the statute of limitations runs out on any misconduct in connection to the water crisis.