Three people have been charged with crimes in connection to the Flint Water Crisis.
Flint residents had been drinking lead-tainted water for 18 months before the issue was publicly acknowledged by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Months later, the first criminal charges have been filed against two state regulators and one city employee.
A press release identifies the two state regulators as Michael Prysby, a former district engineer for the state Department of Environmental Quality, and Stephen Busch, a supervisor in the department’s drinking water office. The two regulators have been charged with various offenses, including conspiracy and tampering with test results. They’ve been accused of, among other things, failing to order the addition of anticorrosion chemicals to the water, which would have coated the pipes and protected the residents from ingesting lead. The two were immediately suspended without pay.
Michael Glasgow, a utilities administrator who oversaw daily operations at Flint’s water plant, was charged with tampering with evidence and allegedly falsifying test results. He has since been placed on leave.
“This is a road back to restoring faith and confidence in all Michigan families in their government,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said when announcing the charges. He added that he “can guarantee” more charges will be filed, though he didn’t specify any timeline.
“It’s a good first step, but it’s a small step,” one Flint resident, Melissa Mays, told the Associated Press. The people who have been charged are “lower-level people.” “I want to know who was instructing them to do what they did,” she said. “I think it’s important that we can see some form of accountability being laid out.”