First Criminal Charges Made in Flint Water Crisis

Posted: Apr 20, 2016 5:00 PM
First Criminal Charges Made in Flint Water Crisis

Three government employees in Michigan are being charged for their part in the Flint water controversy, meaning the ongoing incident has now become a criminal case.

On Wednesday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced which state and city officials were going to face consequences.

The attorney general held a news conference Wednesday shortly after Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton announced the charges against Mike Glasgow, a former laboratory and water quality supervisor who now serves as the city's utilities administrator, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality district water supervisor Stephen Busch and district water engineer Mike Prysby.

"They failed Michigan families. Indeed, they failed us all. I don't care where you live," Schuette said.

These officials are faced, in part, with misconduct in office and tampering with evidence, charges which could result in thousands of dollars in fines and a maximum penalty of four or five years in prison.

For months, residents in Flint, Michigan drank dirty tap water thanks to misguided decisions made by city officials who wanted to save money. The consumption of untreated water left residents with skin lesions, hair loss, memory loss, depression and anxiety. 

Many blame Gov. Rick Snyder for not addressing the crisis sooner and say it would be a “miscarriage of justice” to not charge him with a crime as well. During a presidential debate in March, the Democratic candidates demanded his resignation.

While he did not indicate what other public figures were on his list, Schuette told the press there were more charges to come.

"That I can guarantee."