Fourth person strikes plea deal in Flint water criminal cases

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FLINT (WJRT) - (12/20/17) - Adam Rosenthal became the fourth person charged in Flint's water emergency to enter a plea agreement with the prosecution.

After investigating and more than 20 hours of interviews with the water quality analyst for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the prosecution decided Rosenthal's role in the water emergency was very minimal.

"The prosecution, David Leyton's office and the Attorney General Bill Schuette have looked at all the conditions for which Rosenthal was placed under in the original charges and found that his role, if any, was very low on the totem pole of the [M]DEQ," said Special Prosecutor Todd Flood.

Rosenthal was facing three felony charges, including misconduct in office, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. Prosecutors accused Rosenthal of lying about lead testing results and said he was warned by Flint water treatment plant officials that they were not ready for operations.

He was also charged with a misdemeanor of willful neglect of duty.

Those charges were all dropped in exchange for his cooperation with the prosecution and a no contest plea to failing to make facilities available to investigators. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such by the court.

Rosenthal's attorney, James Burdick, believes his client should have never been charged in the first place. He expects Rosenthal to be called to testify in the future, but he is not sure if that will happen soon.

Three other state and city workers charged in the water emergency have also struck plea deals in exchange for their cooperation: Corinne Miller, Daughtery Duff Johnson and Michael Glasgow.

Rosenthal is suspended with pay but his attorney expects him to be fully reinstated with MDEQ. Rosenthal or his attorney will have to appear in court again in March 2018 for a review.

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