Six state employees were slapped with criminal charges in relation to the Flint water crisis on Friday.
According to testimony this morning in Flint’s district court, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services workers Nancy Peeler, Corinne Miller and Robert Scott, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees Liane Shekter-Smith; Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook have all been charged.
The charges were discussed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Todd Flood, the Royal Oak attorney heading the AG’s investigation in a press conference.
Some people failed to act, others minimized harm done and arrogantly chose to ignore data, some intentionally altered figures … and covered up significant health risks,” Schuette said.
Schuette announced in April that felony charges were being brought against two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials and one City of Flint official. He promised at the time that more criminal charges were to follow.
Mike Glasgow, a city employee, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and has been cooperating with investigators, which has resulted in other charges against him being dropped. Stephen Busch and Mike Prysby, two DEQ employees, are currently awaiting preliminary examinations.
A civil lawsuit has also been filed against the engineering and consulting firms who consulted on the Flint Water Treatment Plant.
According to the Detroit Free Press,
The civil lawsuit, filed in Flint in Genesee County Circuit Court, accuses engineering firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam and environmental consultant Veolia North America, plus related companies, of causing ‘the Flint Water Crisis to occur, continue and worsen.’ Both companies have denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the lawsuit.
The entire city of Flint was poisoned by the city’s drinking water when the decision was made in 2014 to switch from the Detroit water system to water from the Flint River in an effort to cut costs. The Flint water treatment plant never added anti-corrosives to the raw river water, which caused pipes to corrode and lead to leech into the water.
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