FLINT, Mich., April 20 (UPI) -- Three Michigan officials were officially charged with crimes Wednesday for the lead contamination of Flint's water supply.
Criminal accusations "are only the beginning," Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said at a news conference, promising more charges will be filed. Schuette declined to name possible additional targets of the ongoing criminal investigation. "There are no targets, and nobody's ruled out," he told reporters.
On several occasions during the press conference, Schuette sidestepped questions about potential charges against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Investigator Andrew Arena addded more arrests are upcoming. "...This is the biggest case in the history of the state of Michigan — I think history will bear me out when we're done...," he said. "As an investigator, this is why you suit up."
Charged were filed against Michael Prysby, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality district engineer; Stephen Busch, DEQ's Office of Drinking Water's Lansing and Jackson district supervisor; and Michael Glasgow, Flint's utilities administrator. Judge Tracy Collier-Nix authorized charges in 67th U.S. District Court
Glasgow is accused of tampering with evidence when he allegedly changed testing results to show there was less lead in city water than there actually was. He is also charged with willful neglect of office.
Prysby and Busch are charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, a treatment violation of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act and a monitoring violation of the Safe Drinking Water.
If convicted on all counts, Glasgow could face up to five years in prison and $6,000 in fines, Prysby could face up to 20 years in prison and more than $35,000 in fines and Busch could face a maximum of 15 years in prison and more than $25,000 in fines. They also face fines because of violations of the Safe Water Drinking Act.
The three charged have not been arraigned and were not in court when the warrants were issued. No attorneys for the men were present.
Schuette's office says Prysby and Busch knowingly misled Environmental Protection Agency regulator Miguel Del Toral that the city was using proper corrosion control when they knew the city was not.
Glasgow oversaw the city's water sampling program under the guidelines of the federal Lead and Copper Rule. The city was drawing its water from the Flint River and failing to treat it to prevent corrosion.
In 2014, the state switched Flint's water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in an attempt to save money. The river is notoriously polluted and residents soon began to complain about the water's taste and smell. Later, serious health problems began to develop in Flint residents, particularly in children.