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Steven Solow Comments on New Charges in Flint Water Case

Firm News | June 15, 2017

Steven Solow, co-head of Katten's Environmental and Workplace Safety practice and co-head of the White Collar, Investigations and Compliance practice in the Washington, DC office, was quoted by the Associated Press and other media outlets regarding Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's announcement of additional criminal charges stemming from the Flint water crisis. Steve noted that municipal officials have been charged elsewhere with violating federal clean-water law for deliberate acts (e.g., falsifying test results, tampering with monitoring equipment, etc.). However, Flint is unique as the prosecutors have based their involuntary manslaughter charges on alleged inaction that resulted in a Legionnaires' disease-related death. "Is it within the normal boundaries of criminal law to hold a state official criminally liable for acts while in office for this kind of harm? The answer is a qualified yes, depending what they knew and when they knew it and what they did with that information." ("Official Hopes Charges in Flint Water Case Help Return Trust," June 15, 2017)