Three officials are facing criminal charges for the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, including two employees from the Michigan Department of Environment Quality.
Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby were arraigned on Wednesday, released on $10,000 bond and both are facing probable cause conferences on May 4, ABC News reported. In addition, Flint Water Plant Water Quality Supervisor Michael Glasgow was charged with a felony for tampering with evidence and “misdemeanor willful neglect of duty.”
In a statement Glasgow’s attorney stressed that his client is “an honest, decent person who has faithfully worked for the City of Flint and its residents for many years.”
“Mike strongly opposed the transfer of the source of water for the City of Flint from the Detroit Water System to the Flint River. Criminal charges against Mike are difficult to understand, given what Mike did in this case…. Mike voluntarily met with, and spoke with numerous investigators from the Attorney General’s office and the Genesee Prosecutor’s office on several occasions,” Robert Harrison said.
It’s important to note that Governor Rick Snyder is not facing any charges. Yet, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette was clear: “These charges are the only beginning and there will be more to come. That I can guarantee you,” The Detroit Free Press noted.
“The justice system in Michigan is not rigged. Anyone that says Michigan has a wink and a nod justice system is wrong. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, if you break the law, there will be consequences,” he added.
Those charged could face 4-5 years in prison.
Since Gov. Synder decided to switch Flint’s water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River, a body of water known to have copious amounts of trash, pollution and iron,there have been numerous reports of hair loss and rashes, thousands exposed to dangerous toxins and a whopping 9,000 children diagnosed with lead poisoning.
Even though the water was changed back last October, the supply still has major problems. On Friday, Jan 29, state officials announced that the levels of lead are still so high in Flint that they are urging all residents to get their water tested with free kits being passed out at local fire stations, writes the Detroit Press. Pregnant women and children 6 and under are asked to only drink bottled water in the meantime.
Meanwhile, Lifetime Networks has fast-tracked a film about this crisis, Hello Beautiful reported earlier this month.
According to Headline, “Flint” will tell the story of the thousands of—predominantly Black and low-income—residents of the Michigan city that were exposed to high lead levels and other toxins in their water when state officials decided to save money by switching their water supply.
The film is a semi-adaptation of the Time magazine’s February 1 cover story, “The Toxic Tap.” It will be executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who created NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” and the 2012 “Steel Magnolias” remake starring Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad and Jill Scott.
Time will tell, how many more charges will be handed down.
This is a developing story and we will be providing updates at they become available.