Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, confirmed their involvement with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division on Tuesday. The launch comes as the city faces ever more public criticism for the man-made water crisis after switching its main source from the Detroit water-based system to the corrosive waters of the Flint River in April 2014.
The water made its way into the already corroded pipes in the city, causing lead poisoning in young children, a condition that can affect brain development and lead to reduced IQs.
The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday with members of the EPA. An EPA researcher who made discoveries about lead in the water will also testify.
A criminal investigation has not yet been announced, despite calls for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign. Since December, there have been major resignations from the city, including the EPA’s Susan Hedman and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant.
Former Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley was one out of five invitees to the hearing that have declined to testify. Earley on Tuesday also announced his official resignation from the position, effective Feb. 29.
Snyder released a statement about the resignation and announced a new transition leader will be hired by the end of the month.
Via Detroit Free Press:
“Darnell has done a very good job under some very difficult circumstances. I want to thank him for his professionalism and his service to the people of Michigan,” Snyder said in a news release. “He restructured a heavily bureaucratic central office, set in place operating and cost-containment measures, and has taken steps to stabilize enrollment. These factors should all set the course for a sustainable, new Detroit Community Schools, as I have proposed.”
Flint’s lead problem wasn’t formally recognized until October 2015, although the government was said to be aware of the problem much sooner. Thousands of water kits have been sent to the city, but many residents say the real attention should go to restoring the damaged pipes.
SOURCE: Detroit Free Press | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform