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More Charges Expected in Flint, Michigan, Water Crisis

  • Wayne Lee

FILE - The Flint, Michigan, water tower is seen in a Feb. 5, 2016, photo. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in 2014 to save money.

FILE - The Flint, Michigan, water tower is seen in a Feb. 5, 2016, photo. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in 2014 to save money.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says criminal charges leveled against two state regulators and a city employee in the Flint, Michigan, water crisis are just the beginning.

In the first charges leveled in the case, a pair of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials and a city water treatment supervisor were charged in state court Wednesday with evidence tampering and several other felonies and misdemeanors.

"They failed to discharge their duties," Schuette said.

DEQ officials Michael Prysby and Stephen Busch have been charged with misconduct, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, and violations of water treatment and monitoring laws.

Watch video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

Busch is on paid leave after being suspended earlier and Prysby recently assumed another position in the agency.

Flint utilities administrator Michael Glasgow faces charges of tampering with evidence for changing lead-water-testing results and willful neglect of duty as a public servant.

Other charges may be filed as the investigation by the Michigan attorney general's office continues.

FILE - A nurse draws a blood sample from an elementary school student in Flint, Michigan, Jan. 26, 2016. Students at the school were being tested for lead after the metal was found in the city's drinking water.

FILE - A nurse draws a blood sample from an elementary school student in Flint, Michigan, Jan. 26, 2016. Students at the school were being tested for lead after the metal was found in the city's drinking water.


Almost 18 months ago, officials switched Flint's water source in a money-saving move and residents began drinking and bathing with water tainted with toxic lead.

Governor Rick Snyder announced in October that Flint would once again get its water from its earlier source: the Detroit municipal system.

By the time the city began getting its water from Detroit, dangerously high levels of lead had been found in the blood of some residents, including children, who are particularly susceptible to lead exposure, which can result in lower IQs and behavioral problems.

Flint has been under a state of emergency for four months while residents use filters and bottled water.

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