Michigan’s attorney general has charged six more state employees with felonies for covering up evidence of Flint’s water crisis, he announced at a press conference Friday morning. Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, charged individuals from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with a number of counts. (Current Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is also a Republican.)
Per Schuette and other officials who spoke Friday, Michigan DHHS employees commissioned a report in July 2015 that found rising blood-lead levels in Flint children but then “buried” its results. The MDEQ employees are charged with hiding evidence that Flint’s water did not meet federal standards.
Said Schuette: “Each of these individuals attempted to bury, or cover up, to downplay or hide information that contradicted their own narrative and their story—and their narrative and their story was that there was nothing wrong with Flint’s water.”
Independently gathered evidence that Flint’s water contained dangerously high amounts of lead, and that many children in the city had high levels of lead in their blood, was made public in September 2015. The city (under state supervision) had switched to a new water source in April 2014 but failed to take proper precautions to prevent lead from plumbing materials from leaching into tap water.
Two other state employees and a Flint city employee were charged with similar offenses in May.