Conflict between current and former Flint water crisis investigators grows

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FLINT (WJRT) (12/19/2019) - Wednesday in a Genesee County courtroom, criminal charges were dismissed against two state officials.

Michael Prysby and Stephen Busch were accused of altering lead levels in their reports to make it look like Flint's water was safe to drink.

The dismissal is part of the plea agreement they took one year ago, as long as they complied with providing information to help in other criminal cases.

In court, Hammoud's team member seemed frustrated she was bound to the terms of the agreement.

And, she also took a dig at the former Special Prosecutor Todd, saying not only were they hushed, secretive pleas taken the day after Christmas.

But, she also pointed out there was no formal interrogation to provide evidence against other defendants before their pleas were taken.

She said she had no way of knowing how valuable Busch and Prysby could be as witnesses moving forward.

So she said her team took more than 35 hours getting truthful testimony from them.

But, ABC12 took a look at the transcript from Busch's plea taken on December 26th 2018.

And in it, he's questioned in front of the judge on what he knows and what testimony he'll be able to provide.

You can see Busch testifies he had a conversation in 2015 with the then-State Health Director Nick Lyon about a legionella outbreak in Genesee County.

He was expected to testify in the trial against Lyon to prove Lyon knew of the outbreak; and therefore, could be held responsible for the charges against him -- including involuntary manslaughter.

We asked Hammoud about that discrepancy --

"Proffers and plea agreements are usually given prior to letting somebody accept a plea offer. So we know what somebody has to testify to. And they're not just a conversation in the hallway or a 5-minute conversation on the day before Christmas. So, I think we are very clear as to what we think this is not like any proffer we've ever seen before. And it did not follow the right process. And I think this was along the lines of what prosecutor Mollie Kettler stated in court. So we stand by that," she responded.

The only other pending case in the Flint Water Investigation is against Busch and Prysby's former coworker, Lianne Shekter-Smith.

We're expecting her charges to be dismissed in line with her plea agreement -- at a hearing in January.



 
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