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Michigan officials charged in Flint lead poisoning investigation 

By Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from
On May 3, 2016

( - The Michigan Attorney General last Wednesday filed 13 felony charges and five misdemeanor charges against two state officials and one city official associated with the lead poisoning crisis in the Flint, Michigan, a mostly African-American city 66 miles northwest of Detroit.

Attorney General Bill Schuette filed the charges against Stephen Busch of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District 8 Supervisor. Busch is charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors.

Charges also were filed against Michael Prysby, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District 8 water engineer. He is charged with four felonies and two misdemeanors.

In addition, the Michigan Attorney General also filed charges against Michael Glasgow, supervisor at Water Quality for the City of Flint Laboratory. Glasgow is charged with one felony and one misdemeanor.

If convicted of the felonies, the three could spend four to five years behind bars. The men also could be fined $5,000 to $10,000.

The high lead content in Flint’s water has left 30,000 of city’s residents without drinkable water after the town’s water supply was switched in 2014 to the Flint River from Lake Huron to save money. Some 99,000 people live in Flint and 56.5 percent are African American.

The residents continue to drink, wash and bathe with bottled water.

Michigan officials insisted it was safe to drink tap water even though an internal memo at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services warned that lead poisoning rates were higher than usual for children under 16.

The state continued to say the water was safe until Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician, reported in September that there was an unusually high level of lead found in blood samples taken from Flint children.

Lead poisoning especially affects infants, children and expectant mothers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Lead poisoning is such a serious national problem, especially among African-American children, the CDC hosts a National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week annually.

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