DETROIT (FOX 2) - Dana Nessel, the new Michigan Attorney General, is wasting no time making changes to one of the biggest issues in Michigan in the past decade: she's asked Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to take over as prosecution of the Flint Water Crisis.
Nessel formally announced the decision Friday afternoon in an email, saying that Special Prosecutor Todd Flodd was being replaced. She said Worthy is the best person for the job.
“I have total confidence in Prosecutor Worthy and her office,” Nessel said in a statement, “and there is no one whose opinion I value more when it comes to the complexity and importance of these cases. We are hoping to have a response from Prosecutor Worthy regarding acceptance of these cases soon.”
Worthy was part of Nessel's transition team and the two have discussed the disposition of the Flint cases before.
Worthy's office issued a statement in response to Nessel's request.
"Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has asked the Wayne County Prosecutors Office (WCPO) to do an independent evaluation of the Flint Water criminal cases. A decision will be made at a later time addressing what entity will continue these prosecutions. The WCPO will not be making any public statements and will provide the Attorney General with a full report when this assessment is completed. It has important to remember that there is a lot of material to review as these investigations are almost three years old."
Flood was appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette and Nessel stated she would dismiss Flood when she took office and bring in a new team to evaluate the cases.
In his time as special prosecutor, Flood brought charges against 13 current and formal state and local officials since the start of the investigation.
In 2014 and 2015, Flint was run by state-appointed emergency managers when it didn't properly treat corrosive Flint River water. Lead in old pipes contaminated the water.
The goal was to cut costs, but the move triggered a city-wide health crisis with lead contaminated water flowing into people's homes.
he switch to the Flint River yielded smelly discolored tap water, later determined to be responsible for leaching lead from the pipes in people's homes, poisoning thousands while also leading to dozens of cases of Legionnaires disease. Twelve of those of were fatal.
Schuette never charged former Governor Rick Snyder, despite demands from protesters.