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MDEQ workers scheduled to return to court Monday

Apr 15, 2018

Four defendants and a small army of lawyers filled the courtroom during a previous preliminary hearing.
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Four current and former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees criminally charged in the Flint water crisis are scheduled to return to court Monday.

MDEQ district supervisor Stephen Busch, Community Drinking Water Unit specialist Patrick Cook, district engineer Michael Prysby, and former chief of the DEQ's Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Liane Shekter Smith are facing a variety of charges related to their oversight of Flint’s problem plagued water system.

The charges include willful neglect of duty, misconduct in office, and conspiracy.

Prosecutors have indicated their intent to file involuntary manslaughter charges against Busch and Shelter-Smith.   

In addition to more witnesses during the preliminary hearing inside the Genesee county courtroom, protesters are expected outside.

Activists upset with the end of bottled water distribution in Flint plan to rally outside during the hearing.

Gov. Rick Snyder announced earlier this month that test results showed Flint’s water supply is now well within federal and state quality standards.  

The final four distribution centers closed last Tuesday after handing out the last of the remaining bases of bottled water.  

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is expected to meet with the governor this week to discuss the city’s ongoing needs.