More Charges in the Flint Water Crisis

Rebecca Cook / Reuters

NEWS BRIEF Six more Michigan state employees were charged Friday in connection with the Flint water crisis.

State Attorney General Schuette announced the six additional charges at a news conference. Nancy Peeler, Corinne Miller, and Robert Scott, all officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, will be charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy, and willful neglect of duty.

Liane Shekter-Smith, Adam Rosenthal, and Patrick Cook, who were with the Department of Environmental Quality, will also be charged. Shekter-Smith will be charged with misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty; Cook with misconduct in office, conspiracy, and willful neglect of duty; and Rosenthal with misconduct in office, tampering with evidence, conspiracy, and willful neglect of duty.

“Each of these individuals attempted to bury or cover up, to downplay or to hide information that contradicted their own narrative, their story … these individuals concealed the truth and they were criminally wrong to do so,” Shuette said.

In addition to the individuals charged, civil suits have been filed against Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, the engineering firm, and environmental consultant Veolia North America on the grounds that the companies had the “knowledge and the ability” to stop the crisis. Both companies have denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation is ongoing, and Shuette said it will continue until “we have delivered justice for Flint.”

Two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials and one City of Flint employee were brought up on charges related to the water crisis last April.

Flint has been under a state of emergency since elevated levels of lead were discovered in the city’s water supply in 2014. The state of emergency has been extended until August.