Schuette to bring more charges in Flint water case

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette plans to announce new criminal charges Friday as part of his investigation into Flint’s water contamination crisis.

Schuette’s office issued a media advisory Thursday to make notice that the attorney general and his special prosecutor, Todd Flood, will “announce criminal charges relating to the Flint water crisis” at an 11:30 a.m. Friday news conference at the University of Michigan – Flint.

It’s been more than three months since Schuette charged Michigan Department of Environmental Quality water regulators Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby and Flint water utility administrator Michael Glasgow with various crimes related to Flint’s water not being treated to prevent lead contamination.

Glasgow struck a plea deal with Schuette’s office in May.

Glasgow pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of willful neglect of duty after agreeing to cooperate with state and federal investigators.

Sixty-seventh District Judge Jennifer Manley took the plea under advisement but has delayed her decision on whether to accept it.

In June, Schuette filed a lawsuit against engineering firms Veolia North America and Lockwood Andrews & Newnam (LAN), claiming the companies “botched” treatment of corrosive Flint River water blamed for causing lead to leach from old pipes throughout the city.

The attorney general launched the Flint probe in January after it was discovered state regulators failed to require that the city add corrosion control chemicals when it began using Flint River water in April 2014 while awaiting construction of a new regional pipeline from Lake Huron.

Experts say that decision proved catastrophic.

The harsh river water ended up leaching lead from aging pipes, contaminating the drinking water supply.

Last month, Liane Shekter Smith, former chief of Michigan’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance who was fired for her role in Flint’s disastrous water switch, asserted through counsel her Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination during a court hearing in Detroit after Schuette’s office issued her an investigative subpoena.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood