95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

3 years later, no one is in jail over Flint tainted water

Picture of Flint water tower

Some people in Flint are upset over a parade of plea deals in the Flint water scandal, three years after authorities said the lead crisis would put officials in prison. 

No one is behind bars. Seven of 15 defendants have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors. Their records will be scrubbed if they cooperate with a prosecutor.

Flint was one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in U.S. history. The city pulled water from a river in 2014 and 2015 without treating it to reduce corrosion. Lead leached from pipes.

Three Michigan regulators recently accepted plea deals, including Liane Shekter Smith, who was the state's head of drinking water. LeeAnne Walters, who helped expose the lead crisis, says she's "furious."

Flint water investigator Andy Arena says cooperation will help build new cases.