Criminal Justice

3 officials charged in connection with Flint drinking-water crisis

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Two state regulators and a city utility official have been charged with evidence-tampering and other alleged crimes in connection with the poisoning of Flint, Mich.’s water supply.

The charges were authorized Wednesday by Flint District Court Judge Tracy Collier-Nix, CNN and the Detroit Free Press report. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is leading an investigation into the crisis, announced the charges in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

“These charges are the only beginning and there will be more to come,” Schuette told reporters, the Free Press reported in ">another article. “That I can guarantee you.”

Michael Prysby, a district engineer with the Michigan Department of Environment Quality, faces six counts, including two charges of misconduct in office and one count each of conspiracy to tamper with evidence and tampering with evidence.

Stephen Busch, a district coordinator with the DEQ’s office of drinking water and municipal assistance, faces five counts, including misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence and tampering with evidence.

Michael Glasgow, a former supervisor at the Flint Water Treatment Plant, is charged with tampering with evidence and willful neglect of duty as a public servant.

The misconduct in office charges relate to willfully and knowingly misleading federal environmental protection and county health department officials. The conspiracy and tampering charges relate to manipulating reports on lead in water testing, according to the complaint.

Prysby still works for the department in another capacity. Busch is on unpaid administrative leave. Glasgow now serves as the city’s utility administrator.

The charges are the first in a state probe into how the city’s drinking water came to be contaminated with lead. The city has been under a state of emergency for more than four months, and residents have been forced to use filters and bottled water.

None of the men appeared in court Wednesday, but are expected to be arraigned soon.

“Anyone that says Michigan has a wink and a nod justice system is wrong,” Schuette said in his announcement. “It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, if you break the law, there will be consequences.”

Related articles: “Lawsuits seek $250M due to Flint, Michigan, water supply issues” “Suit seeks replacement of lead water pipes in Flint; is sovereign immunity a bar?”

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