Flint utilities official pleads no contest in water probe

November 28, 2017
Daugherty Johnson, Flint's former utilities administrator, pleaded no contest Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, to a misdemeanor public records charge rather than facing two felony charges -- false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses at Genesee District Court in Flint, Mich. Johnson becomes the third of 15 Flint water crisis defendants to agree to cooperate in other pending cases, including those against officials inside Gov. Rick Snyder's cabinet. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The former utilities director in Flint, Michigan, has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in an investigation of the city’s lead-tainted water.

Daugherty Johnson’s deal Tuesday means two felonies will be dropped. Defense attorney Edwar Zeineh (ZANY) says the misdemeanor also will be erased in the months ahead if Johnson continues to cooperate with the attorney general’s office.

Flint didn’t properly treat water from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015. As a result, corrosive water caused lead to break away in old pipes, contaminating the system.

Johnson had been charged with conspiracy and false pretenses in helping officials obtain money to build a new water pipeline.

More than a dozen people have been charged in the Flint water investigation, including state health director Nick Lyon. His case is pending.

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