FLINT, Mich. — A state employee charged in the Flint water scandal has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor.

It’s a big break for Adam Rosenthal, who was charged with felonies, including tampering with lead test results. Special prosecutor Todd Flood says investigators found Rosenthal’s role was “very low on the totem pole” at the Department of Environmental Quality.

Rosenthal, a water analyst, pleaded no contest to a public records charge Wednesday. His case could be erased in the months ahead while he cooperates with Flood’s team.

Flint’s water system was contaminated by lead in 2014 and 2015 because corrosive water from the Flint River wasn’t properly treated. Lead broke away in old pipes.

Rosenthal has been suspended with pay at the Department of Environmental Quality.

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