Report: Six more people charged in Flint water crisis

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DETROIT, MI - MARCH 03: Demonstrators demand action from the Republican presidential candidates about the water crisis in Flint outside the historic Fox Theater before the GOP presidential debate March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. Voters in Michigan will go to the polls March 8 for the stateÕs primary. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

FLINT, Mich. – Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced more charges in the Flint water crisis.

Schuette filed 18 more criminal charges against six people.  Charges were filed Friday against Nancy Peeler, Corrine Miller and Robert Scott of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). They have been charged with misconduct in office, conspiring to commit misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty.  Their charges are related to allegedly concealing test results of lead levels in Flint residents’ blood.

Charges have also been filed against three Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) employees.   Liane Shekter-Smith, former DEQ water chief, and Patrick Cook and Adam Rosenthal were charged with crimes related to allegedly misinterpreting federal regulations for lead levels.

The Attorney General broke down the charges further:

Liane Shekter-Smith is alleged to have not taken corrective action or notify public health officials about citizen complaints and a Legionnaires outbreak.  Schuette alleges that she also took steps to mislead and conceal evidence from health officials.

Adam Rosenthal allegedly was warned by Flint Water Treatment Plant officials that they weren’t ready for operations.  He is also alleged to have manipulate lead testing results and allegedly altered a report.

Patrick Cook allegedly was aware of problems with the Flint water but did not take corrective action.  He was the final approval necessary to use the Flint Water Treatment Plant.  Cook is the current MDEQ official responsible for lead and copper monitoring.  He also allegedly mislead the EPA on the necessity of using corrosion control.

Nancy Peeler, Corrine Miller and Robert Scott are alleged to have discovered that Flint children were being poisoned by lead, but did not forward the information to doctors and health officials.

 

All the charges carry possible jail sentences and fines.

Three people were also charged in April.

 

 

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3 comments

  • NativeOfMichigan

    Why isn’t governor Snyder on this list and being charged?
    Must be a case of dry mouth:

    See Rick run,
    See Bill run,
    Let’s run Michigan like a business,
    Because dishonesty pays and lying is fun.

  • Sam

    Why hasn’t the AG investigated MDEQ’s Jim Sygo. He’s a senior MDEQ manager who was cc’d on numerous email exchanges and corresponded frequently with Brad Wurfel (resigned) throughout the ordeal. Obviously Sygo was privileged to the spin that was taking place in the department and chose to do nothing. As a senior manager shouldn’t he have stepped up early in the process to protect the Flint population? After all, as a senior manager is it not his responsibility to exercise wisdom when it’s evident that even the slightest potential exits for harming children? The most conspicuous thing after reading the email trail is Sygo was well aware, early in the debacle, of the divisions between the EPA, MDEQ, Edwards, and the pediatrician. Yet instead of stepping forward and giving the outside professionals involved the benefit of doubt he chose to hide behind the spin in an attempt to preserve his career. One has to ask what kind of leader who has access to conflicting information that can potentially ruin the lives of thousands, if not properly evaluated, cowers for self-preservation? I applaud Michigan’s Attorney General for his effort thus far, but it’s time for the investigation to move up the latter to give his inquiry legitimacy. As it stands now, many look at the AG’s current effort as a twisted attempt to shore up his political ambitions. Only if those in the higher hierarchy are genuinely investigated will Michigan citizens feel vindicated. Simply picking off mid-level employees to give the appearance that justice is being done does not allow a thorough review of the dangerous ideology that currently exists within Michigan’s government and by extension giving the wrong impression to state employees that the environment is second to business interests. Although employees of the MDEQ and MDCH appear to be guilty, it’s proven that those led take on the personality of their leaders. Surely, Governor Snyder’s recent appointment of the new MDEQ director supports the premise that Michigan state agencies responsible for the environment and public health are a hindrance to business interests and he’s now doubling down to ensure they continue to be minimized. I suppose he understands his career is over, so why not. That said, we need to demand that if the AG has any aspirations of being governor that he looks at himself in the mirror and has a come to Jesus moment. Hopefully he realizes that the majority of Michigan citizens see through the BS he’s slinging and if he doesn’t hold those truly responsible for the Flint debacle accountable he can forget about being governor. Just my opinion.