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Two state health dept officials scheduled for preliminary hearing in Flint water crisis

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A preliminary hearing for two of the lesser-known defendants in the Flint water crisis investigation is set to begin this week.

Nancy Peeler and Robert Scott were indicted nearly two years ago.

The 2 state health officials who allegedly suppressed data about blood lead levels in Flint children are scheduled to be in court Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege, in July of 2015, Nancy Peeler requested an internal report on blood lead level data in Flint children.

At the time, Peeler was the Director of the MDHHS Program for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting.   

The report showed a spike in Flint children's blood lead level. But that report was buried.

In its place, prosecutors allege Peeler and Robert Scott created a second report. Scott was the the Data Manager for the Healthy Homes and Lead Prevention program at the time. 

The second report claimed no statistically significant rise in blood lead levels in Flint children.

Peeler and Scott are charged with conspiracy, misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty.  An MDHHS spokeswoman says both are currently on suspension. 

A third state health official also indicted in connection with the lead data report cut a plea deal with prosecutors.

In all, 15 current and former government officials have been indicted in connection with the Flint water crisis.  Four have agreed to deals with prosecutors in exchange for their cooperation.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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