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Snyder: Charges show bureaucrats to blame for Flint water crisis

Gov. Rick Snyder talks about Wednesday's criminal charges against two MDEQ employees and one Flint official.
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Gov. Rick Snyder talks about today's criminal charges against two MDEQ employees and one Flint official.

Gov. Rick Snyder says two state employees charged with crimes in the Flint water crisis have been suspended. Snyder spoke about the criminal charges filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District Engineer Mike Prysby, former supervisor of the MDEQ’s Lansing District Office Stephen Busch, and Flint Utilities Administrator Mike Glasgow were all charged.

Read more about the charges here.

Snyder said both Prysby and Busch have been suspended without pay pending further investigation. 

"I've consistently said that a handful of bureaucrats have created a terrible situation in Flint from the beginning. If these accusations are correct, this would take it to a whole new level," Snyder said.

After blaming the state "bureaucrats," Snyder said the actions by these employees does not reflect that of the more than 47,000 other state employees.

"We have tens of thousands of dedicated, hardworking state employees, and I hope this doesn't put a tarnish on the great work they're doing every day to serve the citizens of Michigan," said Snyder.

Snyder said he was not questioned as part of this investigation, but that his office has been cooperating.

When asked if he felt whether he did anything criminally wrong, Snyder replied, "I don't want to even want to get into that speculation. I don't believe so," Snyder said. "I think it's critically important that these investigations go forward, that as they find potential issues of wrongdoing they be brought forward. That we go through the due diligence and the due process of determining what actually happened, because people deserve the truth and deserve the answers. They want accountable government. And they should get it."

Snyder said the two accused state employees' legal fees are being covered by the state.

"The way this is being viewed is – this investigation is not complete, so those costs are being covered at this point in time," Snyder.

As the investigations continue, Snyder said MDEQ's director will review whether it is appropriate to continue to pay for their legal fees.

Watch his statements below:

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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