FLINT (WWJ/AP) – A special counsel appointed to investigate the lead contamination of Flint’s water says the harshest criminal charge could include involuntary manslaughter.

Former prosecutor Todd Flood suggested manslaughter as a possibility during a meeting with reporters Tuesday. He said government officials might face that charge if they were grossly negligent in breaching a duty.

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Flood and others appointed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette remain in the early stages of their probe into the potential violation of civil or criminal laws.

Talking to reporter on Tuesday, Schuette didn’t go into details but promised a thorough review of the case.

“We’re not gonna shortchange justice,” he said. “We’re going to have a full and complete investigation and we’ll go where the truth goes; that’s where we’ll go.”

Schuette said he does not know how long the investigation will take.

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The city’s water is currently undrinkable after it became contaminated when Flint switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River as a cost-cutting move. The corrosive water leached from lead pipes, and experts have suggested a link between the water switch and a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in which some people died.

“This is the biggest case in the history of the state of Michigan, right,” said former Detroit area FBI chief Andrew Arena, who is also assisting with the case. “And that’s what draws us to this — is to get these people their answers…These people are victims.”

Flood said restitution will be a “very big issue” to ensure the people are held accountable.

[Latest on the Flint water crisis]

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