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Attorney for former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley says he will be vindicated

The emergency manager who was at the helm when Flint switched its drinking water source to the Flint river went before a judge Wednesday, and was officially charged with four felonies. (Photo Credit: Stephanie Parkinson)

The emergency manager who was at the helm when Flint switched its drinking water source to the Flint river went before a judge Wednesday, and was officially charged with four felonies.

The charges include false pretenses, misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty, and could land him in prison for decades.

Wednesday Earley's attorney entered a plea of not guilty.

The attorney general's team of investigators claims together Earley, and the 3 other former high ranking officials charged, illegally borrowed millions of dollars to pay for the new KWA water pipeline, and while that pipeline was under construction switched Flint's drinking water source to the river, which caused dangerous levels of lead to leach into the water supply.

"He's entered a plea of not guilty. This is a very legal matter. We're going to handle it in a legal way and not try this through the public and allow the process to work itself out. We trust the process and we believe that he'll be vindicated through the process," said Todd Perkins, Earley's defense attorney.

"Flint was a casualty of arrogance, disdain, and a failure of management. An absence of accountability, shirking responsibility. We will proceed to deliver justice and hold those accountable who broke the law," said Bill Schuette, Michigan Attorney General.

Earley, Ambrose, Croft and Johnson are all due back in court in either late January or early February. We will continue to keep you updated both on air and online.

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