Flint official punished for water crisis: she must write an apology letter, will not serve time

Corrine Miller was Michigan's director of epidemiology at the state Department of Health and Human Services and oversaw the mass-poisoning of the largely black population of Flint, Michigan; as punishment for her admitted role in the deaths and lifelong suffering caused by her negligence, she will have to write and publish an apology to the victims of her malfeasance.

The apology is part of a plea-bargain through which Miller has agreed to participate in the prosecution of higher-ranking officials. However, there has been little to no public movement on the prosecution of these "bigger fish."

Flint is not an anomaly: at least 33 other US cities are cheating on their water-quality tests, and there are 1.2 million miles of deteriorating pipes in America's cities that need at least $1 trillion worth of remediation. The rich people of Flint — and the factories they headed — were supplied with bottled water at taxpayer expense even as the state insisted that the water was safe for the poor people of Flint to drink.

After pleading no contest to a charge of neglect, Miller also got a year's probation and 300 hours of community service — essentially a slap on the wrist. She is cooperating with special prosecutors pursuing cases against several former employees of the health department and the state's Department of Environmental Quality for their role in Flint's water crisis.

Twelve Flint residents were confirmed to have died in 2014 and 2015 from Legionnaires' disease, an extreme type of pneumonia. But in January, statistics released by Genesee County, where Flint is located, appeared to confirm public health experts' suspicions that the city's water in fact caused additional pneumonia deaths.

Flint Official Escapes Imprisonment, Only Has to Write Apology Letter
[Yves Smith and Nikhil Swaminathan/Naked Capitalism]

(Image: Sorry, Butupa, CC-BY)