The Latest: Not-guilty pleas by 3 newly charged in Flint

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on charges being filed in the Flint water crisis (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

Not-guilty pleas have been entered by three of the four people newly charged in the Flint water investigation.

Gerald Ambrose, Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson briefly appeared in court Tuesday. They are charged with conspiracy and other crimes.

Ambrose is Flint's former state-appointed emergency manager. Croft is Flint's former public works director, and Johnson is the former utilities director.

They're all accused of keeping Flint on Flint River water and using a water treatment plant that wasn't ready for service. The water wasn't treated to control corrosion. As a result, lead leached from pipes and old fixtures.

Former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley also is charged. He hasn't appeared in court.


6:25 p.m.

The Michigan appeals court has thrown out orders that prohibit McLaren hospital from talking to the state health department about an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease and water-related issues in Flint.

In a 3-0 decision Tuesday, the court says Genesee County Judge George Neithercut abused his authority. The court says orders restricting the flow of information to a state agency "cannot rest on catchy phrases or naked assertions devoid" of facts.

The confidential orders were sought by state and local authorities in a criminal investigation of Flint's lead-contaminated water and an associated outbreak of Legionnaires'. Twelve people died.

Authorities defended the orders, saying certain information could jeopardize their investigation of how the state responded to the Legionnaires' outbreak in 2014-15.

The Michigan attorney general's office is reviewing the appeals court decision.


10:40 a.m.

More charges have been filed by Michigan's attorney general in the investigation into the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan, including against two former state-appointed emergency managers.

Attorney General Bill Schuette on Tuesday charged former emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose with multiple 20-year felonies for their failure to protect the residents of Flint from health hazards caused by contaminated drinking water.

Schuette also charged Earley, Ambrose and Flint city employees Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson with felony counts of false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses in the issuance of bonds to pay for a portion of the water project that led to the crisis.


7 a.m.

The Michigan attorney general is announcing more criminal charges in the Flint water investigation.

Nine people so far have been charged in an investigation of Flint's lead-tainted water system and an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. Those nine are eight current or former state employees and a Flint water plant employee.

Attorney General Bill Schuette (SHU'-tee) has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday.

In October, an attorney for Nick Lyon, the head of the Michigan health department, said his client is a target of Schuette's investigation. Lyon hasn't been charged and still leads the agency.

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.

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