Criminal Charges Filed Against Government Employees Connected to Flint Water Crisis
News| | By Lauren Boudreau
Three men were charged on Wednesday in connection with the Flint water crisis. Two men from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and one city employee now have multiple criminal charges pending against them.
All three face charges of tampering with evidence, attempting to cover it up, and not adequately treating the water.
The news comes from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
After years of fighting the water crisis, this marks a huge milestone for the case.
The crisis began in 2014 when the city decided to switch its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in order to save money. While the water from the Flint River was safe to drink, anti-corrosive chemicals were supposed to be added in order to stop the city’s pipes from leaking lead and other chemicals into the water. They weren’t, and as a result, thousands of children and adults were put at risk for lead poisoning. There were 10 deaths and 87 cases of legionnaires disease related to the water crisis. The health of many children has been permanently impacted.
Now, however, the city is finally starting to see some justice.
Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby of MDEQ are charged with misconduct in office, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, and a misdemeanor in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to WoodTV.com. Each charge comes with either four or five years in prison.
Michael Glasgow, Flint’s utility manager, is being charged with tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor due to willful neglect of office.
“Glasgow previously said he planned to treat Flint’s drinking water with anti-corrosive chemicals after the city began tapping the source, but was overruled by Prysby, who was a district engineer with the Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance at the time.”
Schuette said at a press conference how these men had failed the city.
“They failed Michigan families. Indeed, they failed us all,” he said.
However, this is only the first of many charges Schuette hopes to deliver. According to CNN, “more than 50 lawsuits have been filed since January.”
“These charges are only the beginning, and there will be more to come, I guarantee you,” he said.
— Mari Copeny (@LittleMissFlint) April 6, 2016