Authorities investigating Flint's water crisis have seized from storage the state-owned mobile devices of former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and 65 other current or former officials.
Documents The Associated Press obtained through a public records request show the search warrants seeking the devices were sought two weeks ago by the attorney general's office and signed by a Flint judge.
"We want everyone who played a role in this to be held accountable at every level, from the top to the bottom," Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said.
Weaver said it's a step in the right direction towards justice.
"My reaction is probably like a lot of Flint residents, happy about it," Weaver said.
Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy confirmed they executed a series of search warrants related to the criminal investigation of Flint's lead-contaminated water and a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. They declined further comment.
One warrant lists all content from Snyder's cellphone, iPad and computer hard drive. Similar information was sought for state devices used by employees in his office and other departments.
The news comes more than five years after the city's now infamous switch to water from the Flint River instead of Detroit. A switch that eventually was reversed.
"We really hope something is found because it's been a long time," Weaver said. "Even though charges have been brought, really no one has been held accountable for what's happened here in the city of Flint."
Activist Melissa Mays, who was among people who sounded the alarm about Flint's water early on, is gratified by the development.
"Hearing this is exciting for us because it's been a very quiet several months and now knowing they are digging into finding everyone and anyone who is guilty," Mays said.
Mays and Weaver are suggesting justice should include prison time.
"Thirteen people died from Legionnaires. We said if someone came in and shot 13 people, they'd be in prison and someone would be held accountable, but I guess death by water doesn't have that same importance," Weaver said.
“The Department of Attorney General through the Flint Water criminal prosecution team is investigating the Flint Water Crisis as a whole. As stated in recent motions, the prosecution is aware of substantial potential evidence that was not provided to the original prosecution team from the onset of the investigation. The team is currently in the process of obtaining this evidence through a variety of means, including search warrants. The team is also conducting a thorough review of existing and newly received evidence pertaining to the Flint Water Crisis,” Hammoud said in a statement.
Attorney Brian Lennon released the following statement on behalf of Snyder, "We have no comment as this is part of ongoing litigation."