Michigan prosecutor says he'd charge Gov. Whitmer if nursing home deaths showed 'willful neglect'

"Nobody's above the law in this state," Michigan prosecutor Peter Lucido said of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Updated: March 9, 2021 - 2:20pm

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A county prosecutor in Michigan says he would charge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in connection with Covid-related deaths in nursing homes if her decision to allow some virus patients to stay in such facilities showed a "willful neglect of office."

Whitmer is being criticized for the state's plan since the start of the pandemic to put stable Covid patients in long-term care facilities. 

"If we find there's been willful neglect of office, if we find there's been reckless endangerment of a person's life by bringing them in, then we would move forward with charges against the governor," new Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told Detroit's "7 Action News" on Monday. "Of course we would. Nobody's above the law in this state."

Lucido also said his office's investigation into virus-related deaths in nursing homes has been impeded by so-called HIPAA laws that protect patient information. So he's urged residents who've lost loved ones — either a nursing home staffer or resident — to seek out that information and file a wrongful death complaint if appropriate.  

Whitmer called Lucido's comments "shameful political attacks based in neither fact nor reality."

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