Charges dismissed against Flint water official

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News
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Flint — A former Flint water utility administrator whom state officials call a “very important person” in the prosecution of the city’s lead water crisis here had charges against him dismissed for cooperating in the case.

Michael Glasgow, 41, appeared Thursday before Flint’s 67th District Court Judge Jennifer Manley, who approved of the dismissal. About a year ago, Glasgow pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of willful neglect of duty in exchange for cooperating in the investigations after initially facing a felony charge of tampering with evidence.

Glasgow oversaw the city's water treatment plant that failed to use corrosion-fighting chemicals when the city switched from treated Detroit-area water to Flint River water in April 2014.

“I was cooperating before charges were brought upon me, I was going to cooperate regardless,” he said after the hearing. “And I will continue to do so because people want answers to what was done.”

Manley last year did not accept Glasgow’s one-year misdemeanor plea but kept it under advisement until Thursday’s dismissal of charges.

Ruth Carter, a representative for the state Attorney General’s office, said Glasgow’s cooperation has been crucial to bringing those responsible for the water crisis to justice.

“Mr. Glasgow has cooperated significantly and continues to cooperate,” Carter said. “I believe that was our agreement and the people do move to dismiss this case.”

Glasgow of Otisville lost his job and retirement benefits in the wake of the crisis and described his situation as “pretty dramatic.”

“My name was in the news quite a bit with negative connotations,” he said. “I had to start over. It was very dramatic. I’m just glad to finally put it to rest and move on and go from here.”

Glasgow said he played a “small part” in the city’s switch to the Flint River from the Detroit area water system. He said he wasn’t directly involved in the discussions about the water switch or decision-making but “I have confidence in the attorney general that they'll determine who's at fault.”

Two former Flint emergency managers and five former state employees from the departments of health and environmental quality still face criminal charges stemming from the Flint water crisis. Corinne Miller, retired head of the Health and Human Services Epidemiology Department, received one year of probation after pleading no contest in September to a charge of willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor.

In October 2015, Flint switched back to the Detroit area system, now a part of the Great Lakes Water Authority, after the state acknowledge the city’s water had elevated lead levels.

“He attempted to call the police, and that would have been the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality), and they never responded,” Carter said about Glasgow. “Mr. Glasgow sent the flares up when nobody else did and he’s the reason that we're able to get started because he tried and no one responded to him.”

Carter described him as “a very important person for this investigation.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow said he has no “real plans” yet, but “I’m glad to put this behind me for now.”

Flint residents are still advised not to drink the tap water unless they install a filter. Recent testing showed lead levels in the city’s water are at 12 parts per billion, which is below the federal action standard.

(313) 222-2620

Twitter: @leonardnfleming

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