FLINT, Mich. — Rick Snyder, the former governor of Michigan, was arraigned on misdemeanor charges on Thursday in connection with his role in the Flint water crisis.
Mr. Snyder, appearing on video at the Genesee County courthouse in Flint, was charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty. If he is convicted, the charges are punishable by imprisonment of up to one year or a maximum fine of $1,000.
Wearing a dark jacket and a face mask, Mr. Snyder said little during the brief arraignment, answering “Yes, your honor,” when the judge asked if he was still living in Michigan. Brian Lennon, a lawyer for Mr. Snyder, said that the former governor was not guilty of the charges.
Mr. Snyder was released on bond and ordered not to leave Michigan without permission from the judge. Mr. Snyder did not speak to reporters as he left the courthouse.
In a statement, Mr. Lennon said the charges filed were “wholly without merit” and that he expected the former governor to be exonerated. “Today’s charges do nothing to bring justice to the people of Flint,” he said. “These unjustified allegations do nothing to resolve a painful chapter in the history of our state. Today’s actions merely perpetrate an outrageous political persecution.”
Several other officials were also newly charged with crimes tied to the Flint water crisis. They included Nick Lyon, the former state health director; Howard Croft, a former public works director; and Darnell Earley, the city’s former emergency manager.