Critics say there was little accountability when Republicans headed the investigation and its targets have been let off lightly

New Democratic leadership in the investigation into the Flint water crisis has sparked hope among activists that a tougher line will be taken on prosecuting officials and compensating victims of the environmental disaster.

The move comes after three years of Republicans leading the investigation saw 15 state and city officials face criminal charges or be prosecuted over decisions that led to at least 12 deaths, and likely sickened thousands more. At the same time, hundreds of civil lawsuits representing tens of thousands of victims are working their way through state and federal courts.

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Read More Flint water crisis: hope for justice as top Democrat vows to review investigation

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