Jan 13 (Reuters) - Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was charged on Wednesday pwith two counts of willful neglect of duty in the Flint water crisis over lead-contaminated drinking water, the Detroit News reported.
Snyder, the first former Michigan governor to be charged with crimes related to his time in that office, faces two misdemeanor charges that carry a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, the Detroit News reported, citing an online court record of the indictment.
Snyder's attorney Brian Lennon said on Tuesday that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office had refused to share information about any potential charges related to the Flint water investigation.
"It is outrageous to think any criminal charges would be filed against Governor Snyder," Lennon said in a statement Tuesday. "Any charges would be meritless. Coming from an administration that claims to be above partisan politics, it is deeply disappointing to see pure political motivation driving charging decisions."
Flint's troubles began in 2014 after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River from Lake Huron to cut costs. Corrosive river water caused lead to leach from pipes, contaminating the drinking water and causing an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.
The date of the offense was listed as April 25, 2014, the day the city switched water systems, the Detroit News reported.
Snyder, a Republican who has been out of office for two years, was governor when state-appointed managers of Flint switched the city's water source.
Snyder was succeeded by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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