Water quality expert testifies on Flint water crisis - WNEM TV 5

Water quality expert testifies on Flint water crisis

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William Brown testifies on Jan. 8, 2018. (Source: WNEM) William Brown testifies on Jan. 8, 2018. (Source: WNEM)

Court hearings in the Flint water crisis continued on Monday.

Five state employees are waiting to see if they will go to trial. They are facing a number of charges including involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office.

"Did you say that you saw that with your own eyes that they weren't using the Flint River," Special Prosecutor Todd Flood asked William Elger Brown during the preliminary exam on Jan. 8.

Brown is a retired engineer for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The deputy chief of water quality was a consultant to the agency prior to the crisis erupting.

"So was it in that time frame that the water source was switched," Flood asked.

The preliminary exam started on Jan. 8 against four state MDEQ workers and their part in the Flint water crisis.

Flood is pursuing involuntary manslaughter charges against Liane Sheckter-Smith and Stephen Busch.

District engineer Michael Prisby and DEQ specialist Patrick Cook were charged with neglect.

In court on Monday, there were more questions than answers while listening to testimony from Brown, who is not on trial.

"I don't know. I don't recall," Brown said.

Brown has close to 40 years of experience dealing with water quality. He worked with some of the defendants before the water crisis began.

The defense argued the questions being raised during Brown's testimony didn't involve their clients.

"The primary person responsible for the water source and producing clean drinking water to its citizens was the city of Flint," one of the defense attorneys said.

Flood said the regulators involved never tried to stop poisoning the people of Flint.

"Why did you allow them? Why did you sign the permit? Why did you let Flint run the Flint Water Treatment Plant," Flood asked.

Flood told the court he is confident through evidence and testimony he can prove who was poisoning people and that those people knew what they were doing.

"And find out what it was they were contemplating at this time," Flood said.

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