Michigan is paying criminal defense bills for two state employees charged amid Flint's crisis with lead-tainted water.

The state Department of Environmental Quality is paying fees for Stephen Busch and Mike Prysby, who are charged with evidence tampering, misconduct in office and safe drinking water violations.

The Detroit Free Press reports Michigan must provide or pay for defense for state employees sued in connection with their jobs, but not those facing criminal charges.

Prysby, a former DEQ district engineer, and Busch, a supervisor in the DEQ's drinking water office, were charged in April. The DEQ says fees currently are capped at $50,000 each.

Separately, The Flint Journal reports Flint says in response to some lawsuits it was acting as an "arm of the state" during decisions leading to the crisis.