The federal government refused to hold its own officials accountable after the Environmental Protection Agency dumped millions of gallons of toxic water into the Animas River—a blunder that would likely result in a criminal conviction for a private party. Michigan’s attorney general, Bill Schuette, now deserves credit for doing what the federal government didn’t do: file criminal charges against the public officials involved in the lead-contaminated drinking water imbroglio in Flint.

A few months ago, it was unclear whether criminal charges would be brought against various officials who may be responsible for Flint’s leaded water. Many private lawsuits revealed serious harms among the plaintiffs including, “skin lesions, hair loss, vision loss, memory loss, depression and anxiety … concerns about miscarriages, imminent learning disabilities in children and Legionnaires’ disease.”

The government has held private sector workers criminally liable for lesser, comparable misdeeds, but foregone the same accountability measures against its own employees. The U.S. Department of Justice has convinced judges to hold high-level corporate officers responsible for the wrongdoings of employees, even if they were not involved.

The public is entitled to ask, why should “government officials slide when the government prosecutes private parties for the same conduct. It’s time for the government to choose: either stop prosecuting private parties for negligence or make the [responsible] officials stand in the dock.”

more at Source: Criminal Charges Filed Against Government Officials for Flint Water Crisis