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Former Detroit FBI boss, ex-prosecutor to investigate Flint water crisis

LANSING, Mich. -- A former prosecutor and a retired head of the Detroit FBI will play key roles in an investigation into Flint's lead-tainted water as part of the effort to seek answers while also preventing conflicts of interest, Michigan's attorney general announced Monday.

Republican Bill Schuette said Todd Flood, a former assistant prosecutor for Wayne County, which includes Detroit, will spearhead the investigation and serve as special counsel. He will be joined by Andy Arena, who led Detroit's FBI office from 2007 until 2012.

Health clinics overwhelmed by lead testing in... 02:17

Schuette, who had declined to investigate in December but later reversed course, gave no timetable for the investigation. It could focus on whether environmental laws were broken or if there was official misconduct in the process that left Flint's drinking water contaminated.

Flood mostly declined to discuss which laws may have been broken, except to note there are prohibitions against misconduct by public officials. He said "a plethora of laws" potentially could be used to charge someone.

Both Flood and Arena will report to Schuette, who promised they would provide an "experienced and independent review of all the facts and circumstances."

Flint switched from Detroit's municipal water system while under emergency state management and began drawing from the Flint River in 2014 to save money, but the water was not properly treated. Residents have been urged to use bottled water and to put filters on faucets.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has been a focus of criticism, but Schuette said political affiliations would not be a factor.

"I don't care what political stripe you might be. If laws have been broken and violations have occurred, then you pay the price," Schuette said Monday.

Schuette announced the inquiry Jan. 15, more than four months after a Virginia Tech researcher said the Flint River was leaching lead from pipes into people's homes because the water was not treated for corrosion.

Because the attorney general's office represents both the people of Michigan and the state government, Schuette said having the special counsel will help prevent conflicts between Schuette and his investigation team and those defending the governor and state departments against water-related lawsuits.

Michigan governor's emails add to Flint water... 02:44

Lawsuits against Snyder and the state will be supervised by Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Isaacs and Chief Legal Counsel Matthew Schneider. Schuette noted there was a similar effort during Detroit's bankruptcy case to avoid conflicts of interest.

Flood is currently in private law practice. Arena heads the Detroit Crime Commission, a nonprofit aimed at reducing criminal activity.

"Flint families and Michigan families will receive a full and independent report of our investigation," Arena said in a statement.

Meanwhile, CBS Detroit reports that the Flint water crisis has brought militia members to the city in protest.

For the last six days the Genesee County Volunteer Militia has been delivering water door-to-door along with the American Red Cross according to Dave McKellar with the Genesee County Volunteer Militia.

"We go in civilian clothes, in an unarmed manner, we've been out with the crews, we've been moving water that they couldn't accept into the church groups -- whatever we can do to assist," said McKellar to CBS Detroit.

"I've had several semi-trucks contact me, where do we go? How do we get there? I've been tied in with the Red Cross as tightly as I can, I attempted to tie in with federal and state but due to ... my friends -- they are not fond of the militia at this point and to some extend I can see that, but we are out here to do good for the community - that's all."

Saying there is government that has gone a muck across all levels of government across the county - a militia member called for accountability, reports CBS Detroit.

"If it means having to taking up arms in defense of you, we will do that as well," said Major Matt Khroll during a rally on Sunday.

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