Former Flint utility director agrees to plea deal in Flint water crisis
FLINT, Mich. -- ***UPDATE***
We've also spoken with Edwar Zeineh, Johnson's defense lawyer.
"This is a fair resolution to a very difficult case. One that is a cultivation for a lot of hard work between the defense attorney’s and pros office to achieve the definition of justice," said Zeineh.
FLINT, Mich. (AP) --The former utilities director in Flint, Michigan, has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in an investigation of the city's lead-tainted water.
Daugherty Johnson's deal Tuesday means two felonies will be dropped. Defense attorney Edwar Zeineh (ZANY) says the misdemeanor also will be erased in the months ahead if Johnson continues to cooperate with the attorney general's office.
Flint didn't properly treat water from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015. As a result, corrosive water caused lead to break away in old pipes, contaminating the system.
Johnson had been charged with conspiracy and false pretenses in helping officials obtain money to build a new water pipeline.
More than a dozen people have been charged in the Flint water investigation, including state health director Nick Lyon. His case is pending.
We’ve learned that Flint’s former utility director Daugherty Johnson has agreed to a plea deal in connection to the Flint water crisis.
Special Prosecutor Todd Flood said that taxpayers should be happy.
He spoke directly with Courtney Wheaton this afternoon.
Prosecutor Flood says that Johnson has "substantially cooperated," and that was how the deal was reached.
He went on to add that a lot of other prosecutors would have dismissed the case after John’s cooperation.
Johnson made a no contest plea, and Flood says that Johnson did do something that violated Michigan statute.
As part of the plea deal, Johnson has to continue to cooperate and he has to be accessible at all times.
Prosecutor Flood says that in terms of charges or indictments, Johnson was “pretty much like the lowest end of the totem pole.”