"Public Scapegoat": Michigan Pays Out $300,000 To Only Official Fired Over Flint, Michigan Water Crisis | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

"Public Scapegoat": Michigan Pays Out $300,000 To Only Official Fired Over Flint, Michigan Water Crisis

Six years ago, I wrote a column questioning charges in the Flint Michigan lead tainted water case as having more of a political than legal basis.

After the initial press coverage dissipated, prosecutors quietly settled for misdemeanor pleas with key defendants.

Now, the state of Michigan will have to pay $300,000 to settle wrongful discharge claims by Liane Shekter Smith, the only employee who was fired as a result of the controversy.

Those are hundreds of thousands of dollars (plus additional litigation costs) that could have been used for other things like cleaner water.

However, politicians demanded firings and criminal charges before the controversy was fully investigated. The arbitrator, Sheldon Stark, found evidence that politics drove the decision to fire Smith. None of those politicians will likely be held responsible for these unavoidable damages.

In 2014-15, a decision was made to draw Flint’s water from the Flint River to save money. However, the water proved highly corrosive water due to improper treatment. It eroded the protective coating inside of the old pipes and leached lead into the drinking water. Water officials wanted to wait for the conclusion of testing before adding corrosion control additives, but in the interim residents were left with the tainted water.

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