6.18.2009

Lead leader moves to suburbs

I swear, I can't even make this stuff up. Via the Washington Post:
Jerry N. Johnson, who oversaw the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority when high levels of lead were found in the city's water, was chosen today for the top post at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, the troubled Maryland utility whose underground water pipes have been breaking in record numbers.
Johnson has been in charge at DC WASA for the last 12 years, and was recently "let go" from his job. "Let go" means the WASA board of directors bought out his $230,000/year contract a year early. They gave him a silver parachute as a way of "restoring public confidence after the way the lead discovery was handled five years ago."

As I wrote in "Lead (Pb) follow or get out of the way" back in January, the lead controversy is more than just a "scandal" it was a real health emergency that was handled extraordinarly poorly. People were fired for blowing the whistle, those doing the firing now have even better jobs, not to mention the whole not telling anyone about the lead in the water.

Do I need to remind people that "[a]n investigation found Johnson was personally involved in decisions to avoid sounding the public alarm, even after federal law required the utility to issue specific warnings about health risks from rising lead levels."

I've been writing about this lead thing for 5 years now, and honestly it's getting a bit ridiculous. WSSC doesn't even acknowledge that there is anything controversial about their selection, instead citing that they have a close working relationship with Johnson because WASA treats WSSC's sewage.

With this hiring decision, isn't it now the other way around?

1 comment:

  1. I remember your topic about dirty water,so disgusting.

    ReplyDelete