Michigan’s attorney general announced criminal charges on Friday against six more state employees for their roles in allowing lead to contaminate Flint’s water supply, The Huffington Post reports.
All of those charged were either current or former employees of the state Department of Environmental Quality or the Department of Health and Human Services: Nancy Peeler, Corrine Miller, Robert Scott, Liane Shekter-Smith, Patrick Cook, and Adam Rosenthal. They’ve been charged with conspiracy, willful neglect of duty, and misconduct in office.
“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,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said at a press conference.
The charges stem from officials switching the water supplied to the mostly African-American city from Lake Huron to the Flint River. They changed water sources to save money. Officials, though, neglected to add corrosion-control additives to prevent lead from old pipes leaching into the water.
Those overseeing water safety ignored complaints about foul smelling water from residents, and they also dismissed evidence from doctors who noticed elevated lead levels in blood tests of children. Exposure to high levels of lead could cause brain damage in young children.
Schuette charged three other state employees in April, bringing the number of government workers accused in the water crisis to nine.
“The families of Flint will not be forgotten. Those who committed crimes will be held accountable,” the attorney general said.
Meanwhile, Flint’s unfiltered water remains unsafe. Schuette said the investigation is ongoing and more people could be charged.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty