Today, three officials were finally charged for their roles in causing the emergency situation with respect to Flint’s water supply. Michael Glasgow, an official from Flint who was in charge of maintaining the city’s water treatment plant, was charged with evidence tampering and wilful neglect of duty for falsifying reports about the state of the city’s water supply. Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby, both employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, were charged on more counts, including misconduct in office, evidence tampering, and violations of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water act.
Glasgow has been placed on unpaid leave, and Busch and Prysby have been suspended without pay. If convicted, the combination of felony and misdemeanour charges brought against the men could lead to sentences of up to a collective 40 years in prison and $86,000 in fines. Prosecutors insist there are more official charges to come against other officials who may have played a role in letting Flint’s water supply get so toxic.
While many have called for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation, Snyder insists he was not responsible for the water crisis and refuses to resign. Instead, he has recently announced he will drink water from Flint to prove that the water is once again safe. Predictably, few were placated by this announcement. Let’s hope he has a more robust plan for helping Flint’s residents than simply drinking some water, and that the people who willfully exposed Flint’s residents to toxic water get more than a slap on the wrist.