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Flint water crisis preliminary exam scheduled to continue for four MDEQ defendants

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

It’s back to court Monday for four defendants in the Flint water crisis investigation.

At the time of Flint’s ill-fated drinking water switch, district supervisor Stephen Busch, Community Drinking Water Unit specialist Patrick Cook, district engineer Michael Prysby, and chief of the office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Liane Shekter Smith were responsible for overseeing Flint’s water system for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  

They are now facing a variety of charges related to the city’s water crisis.

So far during their preliminary exam, prosecutors have called witnesses claiming the MDEQ officials ignored warnings that Flint’s water plant was not ready to treat water from the Flint River back in 2014.

Improperly treated river water damaged pipes, contaminating the city’s drinking water with lead and other contaminants.

Defense attorneys pressed those witnesses on inconsistencies in their testimony.

The preliminary exam for these defendants is scheduled to continue into June.

Several other Flint water crisis defendants are nearing the end of their preliminary exams. Others are still waiting for their preliminary hearings to begin.

Four defendants have cut plea deals with prosecutors in exchange for their cooperation.

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.