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Two DEQ employees plead no contest to misdemeanors in Flint water crisis case

courtroom gavel
Flickr/Joe Gratz

Two employees at the state Department of Environmental Quality have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors related to the Flint water crisis. 

Michael Prysby and Steven Busch have also agreed to testify against others in the cases. The two men are the fifth and sixth people to agree to deals rather than go to trial on charges related to involvement in the Flint water crisis. 

They pleaded no contest to misdemeanors in exchange for prosecutors dropping felony charges that include tampering with water monitoring reports. 

There are nine others facing charges in the Flint water crisis, including Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Eden Wells, state chief medical executive. 

Both are charged with involuntary manslaughter for failing to publicly report a spike in Legionnaire's disease in Genessee County in 2014 and 2015 which killed 12 people.

Wells will assume a newly-created position in the new year as an advisor to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The switch could make it more difficult for incoming Governor Gretchen Whitmer to fire her.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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