FLINT, Mich., April 20 (UPI) — Three Michigan officials were officially charged with crimes Wednesday for the lead contamination of Flint’s water supply.
Charged were filed against Michael Prysby, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality district engineer; Stephen Busch, DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water’s Lansing and Jackson district supervisor; and Michael Glasgow, Flint’s utilities administrator. Court Judge Tracy Collier-Nix authorized charges in 67th U.S. District Court
According to a Detroit News source, the indictments are the “first of more to come.”
Glasgow is accused of tampering with evidence when he allegedly changed testing results to show there was less lead in city water than there actually was. He is also charged with willful neglect of office.
Prysby and Busch are charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, a treatment violation of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act and a monitoring violation of the Safe Drinking Water.
The three charged have not been arraigned and were not in court when the warrants were issued. No attorneys for the men were present.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office investigated wrongdoing in Flint’s water crisis.
Schuette’s office says Prysby and Busch knowingly misled Environmental Protection Agency regulator Miguel Del Toral that the city was using proper corrosion control when they knew the city was not.
Glasgow oversaw the city’s water sampling program under the guidelines of the federal Lead and Copper Rule. The city was drawing its water from the Flint River and failing to treat it to prevent corrosion.
In 2014, the state switched Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in an attempt to save money. The river is notoriously polluted and residents soon began to complain about the water’s taste and smell. Later, serious health problems began to develop in Flint residents, particularly in children.
More than 50 lawsuits have been filed since January, and this week, Gov. Rick Snyder is being criticized for announcing he will drink Flint water for the next month to “alleviate some of the skepticism and mistrust” over the cleanup.