Former emergency managers charged in Flint water crisis

Four defendants were charged today with crimes relating to the Flint water crisis. Two of them are emergency managers who were appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to run the city.

Darnell Earley was Flint’s emergency manager when the city changed its water source to the Flint River in April of 2014.

Jerry Ambrose was another former emergency manager charged along with Department of Public Works director Howard Croft and Daughtery Johnson who was the former utilities administrator for Flint.

These new charges have brought the number of defendants charged in the water scandal to 13.

Earley and Ambrose face charges of false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, willful neglect of duty and misconduct in office. The charges facing Johnson and Croft are false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses.

According to Earley, he was assured by city workers that they could and would make the Flint River safe to drink before they distributed it to homes in Flint two years ago.

Both federal and state officials have stated that the city failed in their endeavor.

Earley wrote to Congress that Croft was the one that told him the Flint river water “could and would be treated to meet (DEQ) and (EPA) safe drinking water standards.”

Remarks made by Flint’s utilities director, Mike Glasgow contrasted Earley’s comments. He raised questions about Flint’s ability to treat the water before it was pumped into the homes of thousands of residents.

Glasgow pleaded no contest to filing false information about the lead in the water and has committed to helping prosecutors as part of his plea deal.

He has stated that he was following “marching orders” from his supervisors in order to be able to begin using the Flint river water as soon as possible. He also claims to have warned the DEQ that the city was not in the position to begin treating water full-time for the first time in almost 50 years.