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Former Flint official gets plea deal in water crisis probe

A former Flint city official has agreed to cooperate with federal and state investigations of the city’s water crisis as part of a plea deal. The deal may also shield him from punishment.

Mike Glasgow oversaw the city’s water supply as lead levels rose after Flint switched its tap water source to the Flint River.

He’s one of three officials charged in connection with Flint’s water crisis.  

Glasgow appeared before a judge today.

Todd Flood is the Michigan Attorney General’s Flint Water special counsel. He’s been leading the state probe into the water crisis. 

He says Glasgow has been cooperating with investigators. 

Flood read part of an interview Glasgow gave to investigators in which he admitted to manipulating a report at the direction of MDEQ officials, concealing lead levels higher than federal limits. 

“By manipulating that second report,” Flood says, “that action level never went out to the citizens.”

Flood says Glasgow says former MDEQ officials Steve Busch and Mike Prysby told him during a phone call to manipulate the report. 

Busch is a former district supervisor in the Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance office. Mike Prysby is an MDEQ engineer. 

Glasgow could be a key witness against them. 

Bob Harrison is Glasgow’s defense attorney. He says under a plea deal with prosecutors, a felony charge against his client has been dropped. Glasgow has offered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor count. 

But Harrison says that plea to the neglect of office charge may also be dropped, as long as Glasgow continues to cooperate with state and federal investigations, which Harrison says his client will do.

“So that there can be some successful completion of the investigation into the things that occurred here in Flint,” says Harrison. 

For his part, Glasgow sat alone and quiet in the courtroom for much of the three hours it took prosecutors and defense attorneys to finalize the plea deal. 

The only time he spoke was when Judge Jennifer Manley asked for his plea and if he understood the court’s proceedings. Even then, he only said a word or two. 

Mike Glasgow appears to be talking much more with investigators.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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