(Updated) FLINT, MI — Two former emergency managers appointed 
by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose —
 were charged with felonies Tuesday in the ongoing investigation into
 Flint’s drinking water lead-contamination investigation, Michigan 
Attorney General Bill Schuette said at a news conference Tuesday.
Also charged were two former Flint city employees, Howard Croft, who
 was the public works superintendent, and Daugherty Johnson, who
 was the utilities administrator Johnson.
All four defendants face felony charges of false pretenses and 
conspiracy to commit false pretenses, both punishable by 20 years in 
prison. Additionally, Earley and Ambrose face charges of misconduct
 in office, a five-year felony; and willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor.
The emergency managers are the highest-level officials charged so far
 in the investigation. Asked by a reporter if Snyder himself might be
 charged, Schuette didn't answer directly, but said: "It’s serious. We’re 
going up and we’re going broad. We read the emails and put two and 
two together. If there’s sufficient evidence, we charge. Nobody’s on the
 table; nobody’s off the table."
Schuette said the conspiracy involved borrowing about $85 million to 
clean up a so-called calamity — one of the few instances in which
 governments under emergency management may borrow money — at
 a lime-sludge lagoon that Schuette said had already been largely
 remediated. Instead, the money was used to develop the Karegnondi 
Water Authority, which ended the city’s longtime relationship with the 
Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, which gets its water from 
Lake Huron.
The lead crisis is believed to have contributed to an outbreak of
 Legionnaires disease that killed 12 people and exposed countless
 children to dangerously high levels of lead in their drinking water, 
Schuette said.
“That cannot be swept under the rug,” he said.
“All too prevalent and very evident in this course of investigation has
 been a fixation on finances and balances sheet that cost lives,” he said.
 “It’s all about numbers over people, money over health.”
The investigation so far has revealed that Flint is a “casualty of
 arrogance, disdain and failure of management, an absence of 
accountability, a shirking of responsibility.”
Schuette was joined at the Tuesday news conference at the Riverfront 
Banquet Center in Flint by special prosecutor Todd Flood, chief
 investigator Andrew Arena and Genesee County Attorney David Leyton,
 who have been looking into how residents of the southeast Michigan
 city were exposed to toxic lead when the city began getting water from 
the Flint River in 2014.
Eight state workers and one city of Flint employee were previously
 charged in the investigation, which was launched last January.
Schuette said when the first individuals were charged in April when 
the first individuals — two mid-level state workers and the city of
Flint employee— that they were only the “first wave” of charges and 
more would be coming.
Six more state workers in two departments were charged with
 felonies in July for allegedly covering up reports of high lead levels 
in the Flint drinking water supply. Whether from “arrogance” or an 
attempt to support their own narratives that the drinking water was 
safe, they “viewed the people in Flint as expendable, as if they didn’t
 matter,” Schuette said at the time.

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Photo pointing to water pickup sites in Flint by U.S. Department of
 Agriculture via Flickr Commons