Criminal Charges To Be Filed In Flint Water Crisis, Reports Say
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is to announce on Wednesday criminal charges as a result of an investigation into the lead-contaminated water case in Flint, published reports say.
Charges are expected against two state officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality and a water treatment plant supervisor in Flint, alleging wrongdoing, according to government officials familiar with the investigation who talked to The Associated Press.
Earlier this year, Schuette put an investigative team together to look into the water problem.
The Detroit News reports:
Schuette is scheduled to make an announcement of the charges for either malfeasance and/or misconduct in office against the three individuals related to the lead contamination of Flint's water supply, according to two sources.
The indictments are "the first of more to come," one source said.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office would neither confirm nor deny the charges.
The Detroit Free Press reports:
Sources said the number of people to be charged Wednesday was still uncertain late Tuesday because of the possibility one or more of those targeted could agree to cooperate with authorities and avoid charges.
A person familiar with the matter said that other parts of state and Flint city government remain under investigation. The prosecution team is trying to uncover more about why the individuals expected to be charged Wednesday, as well as others still under investigation, may have acted the way they did and who may have instructed them to do so, according to one of the sources.
NPR has not independently confirmed the reports.
Residents of Flint are using filters and bottled water while the city is under a state of emergency.
In 2014, Flint officials switched the water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River.
Soon after the change, residents began complaining the water didn't look right and it had an odor.
Then elevated levels of lead were discovered in the water.
Last month, independent investigators released a report which mostly blamed state officials for the crisis.
On Tuesday, during a visit to Flint, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced he would drink Flint's water for the next 30 days.
He said wants to prove that when filtered, the water is safe to drink.
Last week, when Snyder encouraged Flint residents to use more filtered tap water instead of bottled water, he "was told by a state official that Flint residents wanted him to start drinking the tap water first," the Free Press reports.