Environment

Three Officials Charged Over the Poisoning of Flint

MichiganPostcard
JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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.

  • RamOrgan

    The middle managers have been charged to coerce their testimony against the Gov’s office. Hope it works better than it did in New Jersey.

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    A ridiculous dog & pony show designed to impugn small fries and ignore the real criminals who are responsible.

  • Georgie

    Shit ALWAYS flows down hill.

  • Victor the Crab

    Not nearly enough!

  • gescove

    Let’s hope the US Attorney’s office is more aggressive than the state AG.

  • muselet

    I’m sure the people of Flint will rest easier tonight knowing that three middle managers have been charged with crimes (essentially for not risking their jobs by telling the truth about the disaster the state of Michigan had visited upon the city). Take a bow, Bill Schuette!

    Schuette’s investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected, sources said.

    Bet that investigation stops well short of Rick Snyder’s office.

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      Right. They may be guilty, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be scapegoats.