Former head of Michigan drinking water office fired

Posted at 3:09 PM, Feb 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-06 15:12:27-05

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The former head of the Michigan’s drinking water office has been fired after an investigation into the state’s oversight of Flint’s switch to a new water source that ultimately led to lead contamination.

Governor Rick Snyder announced the termination Friday.

The employee, Liane Shekter Smith, was reassigned after the crisis came to light and suspended last month. The department continues to review the actions of a second employee who was suspended last month.

The Department of Environmental Quality failed to require Flint to treat the water so it would not corrode lead pipes.

State officials interpreted federal rules to mean Flint could make the transition in 2014 and then test the new water for lead over two six-month intervals to determine potential corrosion treatment.

The DEQ director and communications director resigned in December.