Michigan's Attorney General, Bill Schuette, is filing criminal charges in the case. Unfortunately, Rick Snyder will be left unscathed, while a couple of underlings take the fall for the recklessly incompetent decision to switch the source of Flint's water from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The Detroit Free Press reports:
Multiple charges were filed by Michigan's attorney general against Mike Glasgow, 40, of Flint, the city's laboratory and water quality supervisor; Mike Prysby, 53, of Bath, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official; and Stephen Busch, 40, of DeWitt, the suspended Lansing district coordinator for the DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. The charges were authorized by District Judge Tracy Collier-Nix in a Flint courtroom this morning.
The charges include felonies of misconduct in office, conspiracy related to tampering with evidence. They carry maximum penalties of up to five years in prison and up to four years in prison, respectively.
Why have these charges been filed? Obviously, for one to take the heat off Snyder and the other, less obvious reason, is to further the political ambitions of AG Schuette.
It's widely known in Michigan political circles that he's definitely interested in Snyder's job when his term is up in 2018.
Speculation over Schuette's assumed ambitions picked up last month when he reportedly held a fundraiser in Washington D.C., where he was attending at meeting of the Republican Attorney Generals Association.
Schuette can't seek a third term as AG, but he seems to be building a war chest for ... something. He's already worked as a Congressman, state lawmaker and judge, so the governor's office seems like a logical next target.
Is this good news? Not even slightly. If you think Rick Snyder is bad, this man could easily be worse. Our friends at Eclectablog have covered this man extensively and they've concluded that Bill Schuette is a dangerous character, as extreme and self-serving as failed gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA).
His positions are all equally unappealing. He's very in favor of 'Right To Work' and vehemently anti-union, anti-Obamacare, super pro-invasive of couple's sex lives, pro-Emergency Manager system (which caused the lead poisoning), and worst of all, he's anti-environmental protection so this sort of tragedy would be a recurring issue under a Schuette administration.
Of course Bill Schuette will do all in his power to protect the Republican Governor whom he wishes to supplant in two years, so those who were likely just following orders have been scapegoated, rather publicly for the Attorney General's benefit.