A former DHHS official will not be charged with Flint water crisis crimes
A state health official originally charged with crimes related to the Flint water crisis won’t be re-charged by Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammound.
Scott is one of eight state employees whose criminal charges were dismissed, according to Booth Newspapers. Seven other state and city employees had previously agreed to misdemeanor plea agreements in Flint water cases, reported Booth Newspapers. This resulted in no fines or time in prison.
According to Booth Newspapers, former special prosecutor Todd Flood originally brought the charges against Scott and 14 others. The investigation Hammound and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy are currently leading is active but has filed no charges, according to Hammound.
Scott was charged with misconduct in office and conspiracy, which are felonies, and willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor. During the Flint water crisis, Scott served as the state’s data manager for its Healthy Homes and Lead Prevention program. He was initially accused of ignoring data which showed a spike in the number of children with elevated blood lead levels in Flint while the city was using the Flint River to source its water.
“We are pleased that this decision not to charge Mr. Scott essentially confirms what the attorney general recognized as a candidate, that this was a political prosecution against a dedicated public servant,” said Mary Chartier, an attorney for Robert Scott, who retired from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Mr. Scott was a public servant who made the best professional judgment he could, while in the midst of a fast moving and evolving public health crisis.”
According to Chartier, Scott was the lowest ranking state employee charged in relation to the water crisis and thus had no involvement in monitoring the water.