Michigan’s attorney general has announced criminal charges against three officials in connection with the Flint water contamination crisis.
The city switched its tap water from Detroit’s system to the Flint River back in April of 2014 while under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager. Residents drank and bathed in the water for 18 months before learning that the more corrosive water from the river leached more lead from the city pipes than Detroit water did. Blood tests have revealed high levels of lead in children in Flint.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced charges against two state employees and a Flint utility worker, adding that he guarantees there will be more charges.
The charges against Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) workers Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby along with Flint utilities administrator Michael Glasgow were laid following an investigation that began in January.
Prysby, a district engineer, and Busch, a supervisor with the DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water, are both charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, and violations of water treatment and monitoring laws.
Glasgow’s charged with tampering with evidence for changing lead water-testing results and wilful neglect of duty as a public servant.
The investigation also revealed that corrosion control wasn’t added to the water, causing the lead to leach from pipes.
Busch is currently on paid leave after being suspended while Prysby took another job in the agency. Glasgow testified that Prysby told him corrosion control wasn’t needed until after a year of testing.
At a news conference Wednesday, Schuette said the three men charged in the case “failed Michigan families”.