The Karegnondi Water Authority’s pipeline to Flint has drawn the attention of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

DALLAS -- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's criminal probe of the Flint water crisis will include a review of the development and approval of the bond-financed pipeline the Karegnondi Water Authority is building to deliver water to the city.

The development came as Schuette announced the first criminal charges in his probe. The charges were leveled against two Michigan Department of Environment Quality employees and one city employee.

"The investigation is broad and extensive," he said at a press conference in Flint Wednesday. "We will leave no stone unturned. This is about letting everyone in Flint and the state of Michigan know that this is the road back and no one is above the law."

Schuette said his probe would include the Karegnondi authority's development and Flint's commitment to water purchases.

Flint's water crisis began after the city, under oversight of an emergency manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, broke off from the Detroit Water and Sewerage System in 2014 after its contract to receive Detroit-supplied water ended.

The city began pulling water from the Flint River with the intent of using it until later this year, when the Karegnondi pipeline is supposed to be finished. The $285 million pipeline from Lake Huron is set to service Flint and most Genesee County communities.

Flint River water was not property treated and it corroded pipes throughout the system, creating lead contamination that remained even after the city switched back to Detroit water.

The Karegnondi authority's initial $220 million bond financing was named The Bond Buyer's 2014 Midwest Deal of the Year.

Schuette Wednesday announced felony and misdemeanor charges against Flint employee Michael Glasgow and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby.

Glasgow is accused of tampering with evidence for allegedly tampering with testing results to show lower levels of lead. He is also charged with willful neglect of office.

Prysby and Busch are charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, a treatment violation of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act and a monitoring violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The criminal charges announced Wednesday relate to the lead contamination of Flint's drinking water and not to the possible link between Flint River water and an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that is tied to the deaths of 12 people.

Schuette said that the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease is another aspect of the crisis his team is investigating.

The Michigan attorney general, a Republican who is expected to run for governor, also emphasized at the press conference, when asked if his office was investigating Snyder, that while no state department is a target "all were on the table."

Snyder said in a press conference Wednesday that he has not been questioned as part of the attorney general's investigation.

"People deserve the truth and deserve the answers," Snyder said. "They want accountable government. And they should get it. At the same time, I also want to make sure that we're not casting a cloud over tens of thousands of state employees that are working hard."

Snyder and his administration have come under heavy criticism over the handling of Flint's water contamination crisis, primarily because the city was under state controlled emergency management when it switched off Detroit water.

On March 24 a task force appointed by Snyder concluded that the state's EM law should be reviewed to identify measures to compensate for the loss of the checks and balances provided by the local elected government. The task force's report said the EM law hamstrung the city as it attempted to manage its water supply.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.