UPDATE 11:45 a.m. – In the wake of today’s announcement that his former Executive Assistant is being charged with Flint water-related crimes Lansing mayor Virg Bernero was quick to defend Jerry Ambrose.
“I’ve known Jerry Ambrose for over 25 years. He is one of the most humble and decent public servants I have encountered. Jerry has always answered the call of public service and served admirably. Residents of Lansing are particularly indebted to him for helping to lead Lansing through the worst of economic times. I know Jerry to be a man of the highest character who would never knowingly endanger the public health. I am confident he will be fully vindicated.”
FLINT, MI — Two former emergency managers appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to run the city are among four defendants charged today with crimes related to the Flint water crisis.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges today in Flint.
Darnell Earley, who served as Flint emergency manager at the time the city changed its water source to the Flint River in April 2014, was charged Tuesday, Dec. 20, in Genesee District Court.
Also charged was former emergency manager Jerry Ambrose a former Lansing city and Ingham County official. Ambrose was Ingham County controller from 1983-2005. From that position he joined the Bernero administration as Executive Assistant and Finance Director for five years. He then was Financial Advisor in Flint for three years and appointed Emergency Manager in January 2015.
Howard Croft, former Department of Public Works director and Daughtery Johnson, former utilities administrator for the city were also charged today.
According to our media partners at MLive those charged Tuesday bring the number of defendants tied to the lead-in-water crisis to 13.
Charges against Earley and Ambrose are false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, willful neglect of duty and misconduct in office. Charges against Johnson and Croft are false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses.
Flint’s water system became contaminated with lead because water from the Flint River wasn’t treated for corrosion for 18 months. The water ate away at a protective coating inside old pipes and fixtures, releasing lead.
More from MLive: Two former Flint emergency managers charged with water crisis crimes