Three officials charged in connection to Flint water crisis

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This post has been updated. 
At 1 p.m. Wednesday Attorney General Bill Schuette held a press conference in Flint, where he discussed the criminal charges he filed against  three individuals in connection with the Flint water crisis. 

After going over the charges that were filed against Mike Glasgow (a utilities administrator with the Flint Water Treatment Plant), Mike Prysby (a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official who was a Flint engineer), and Stephen Busch (a former supervisor of one of DEQ’s eight district offices within the department’s drinking water program), Schuette opened the floor up for questions, where he noted repeatedly that his team would "leave no stone unturned." 

"This is just the beginning, this is just the start, we're going to be aggressive," Schuette told the room of reporters. "We will leave no stone unturned, we will go where the truth takes us." 

While he would not reveal his team's strategies, he was clear that nobody was ruled out and nobody was a target. Interestingly, Schuette shared that Gov. Rick Snyder has yet to be interviewed in the investigation. 

When asked about the motives of those charged Schuette said that he was not interested in motives, but rather the truth and that nobody was above the law. 

Schuette says he hopes the three men will be tried in Genesee County and that he is unsure if US Attorney Barb McQuade will also press federal charges. 

When asked about jail time — which the charged risk getting — Schuette said he hoped it happened. "You break the law you spend time behind bars," he said, later adding. "The judge will make decision in sentencing and I think that will be behind bars."

Schuette says further charges are coming down the pipeline. 

District Judge Tracy Collier-Nix approved criminal charges against three individuals in connection with the Flint water crisis Wednesday. 

Charged by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette are two MDEQ officials and one Flint city government official. 

A bit about the three: 

1. Mike Glasgow, a utilities administrator with the Flint Water Treatment Plant, is charged with two counts of tampering with evidence and willful neglect of office. It is believed that Glasgow signed off on a document which falsely said the homes used to test tap water this summer had lead service lines. This admission, according to the Detroit Free Press, is why Flint showed artificially low lead levels. 

2. Mike Prysby, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official who was a Flint engineer, faces six criminal charges (two charges of misconduct in the office, one charge of conspiracy to tamper with evidence, one for tampering with evidence, and one for engaging a treatment violation process that breaches Michigan's Safe Drinking Water Act, and one for monitoring such a treatment violation).

Two days ago, the
Detroit Free Press reported that Prysby voluntarily transferred to a new position with the DEQ's transportation and flood hazard unit. Prysby's name was one of the most prominent in the recently released MDEQ emails relating to the Flint water crisis.

In April 2014, for example, he was one of the recipients of an email from Glasgow (see above), who said the Flint Water Treatment Plant was not ready to start treating the Flint River water. "I have people above me making plans to distribute water ASAP, if water is distributed from this plant in the next couple weeks it will be against my direction," Glasgow wrote. The email was important because it showed officials were warned about potential problems but ignored them. According to Glasgow he never received a response to the email, and weeks later the plant was connected to the Flint River. 

3. Stephen Busch, a former supervisor of one of DEQ’s eight district offices within the department’s drinking water program, faces five charges (misconduct in the office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, engaging in a treatment violation that breached Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, and engaging in monitoring violation that breach Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act).

Busch's name has also cropped up often relating to the Flint water crisis. One particularly memorable incident came in February 2015, after Glasgow (see above) tested high levels of lead at the home of 
LeeAnne Walters. Following the revealing test, Busch was questioned by Jennifer Crooks, Michigan program officer for the EPA's Region 5, about the corrosion controls Flint had in place. According to Curt Guyette, who detailed the correspondence for MT, "Busch, district supervisor for the Flint region, replied with an email assuring the EPA that the city of Flint did indeed have an optimized corrosion control program. But he offered no specifics. In reality, however, there was no such program in place at all." 

Schuette is expected to give a press conference at 1 p.m. Wednesday where he will go over these charges. 



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