Two state officials and one city official have been charged with various crimes in connection with the poisoning of Flint's water supply.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette unveiled the charges this morning that target two employees of the state's equivalent of the environmental protection agency and one local city official.
Multiple charges were filed by Michigan's attorney general against Mike Glasgow, 40, of Flint, the city's laboratory and water quality supervisor; Mike Prysby, 53, of Bath, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official; and Stephen Busch, 40, of DeWitt, the suspended Lansing district coordinator for the DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. The charges were authorized by District Judge Tracy Collier-Nix in a Flint courtroom this morning.
The charges include felonies of misconduct in office and conspiracy related to tampering with evidence.
Among other things, the officials are accused of "manipulating monitoring reports" and in some cases actually removing test samples from official reports.
I have mixed feelings about these charges. Theses officials may be indeed be guilty of a crime, but charging low to mid-level managers for what was clearly known at the highest levels of the state government for more than a year before it was discussed publicly is exactly how I suspected this would play out.
Public records and emails have clearly shown that the governor's office knew the water was not safe to drink so the idea that these officials are solely responsible for obscuring the threat posed by the water seems like a bit of a stretch. I would not be surprised if those records play a significant role in their legal defense.