Attorney Eric Leckie is currently representing a Navy Sailor who claims to have been subjected to retaliation from superiors while stationed at the Sewells Point Police Precinct at Naval Station Norfolk. Dennis Walters and his family believe that his hostile work environment is a reaction to his wife’s involvement in the Flint water crisis.
As news outlets like CNN and WTKR report, Lee Anne Walters was one of the first citizens to come forward and raise concerns over Flint’s water supply. Before being stationed in Norfolk, the Walters were stationed in Flint. During that time, Lee Anne noticed an orange tint to the drinking water and that she and Dennis’ two young boys began experiencing rashes.
Lee Anne decided to take action, sending a water sample to the Environmental Protection Agency—an act that eventually led to her testifying before Congress. The Flint water crisis continues to be featured in national headlines as advocates, Lee Anne included, scrutinize the federal and local government response to the lead-tainted water supply.
“A Systematically Hostile Work Environment” Two years following Lee Anne’s sending of the water sample to the EPA, Dennis Walters began to notice that he was singled out for harsh treatment at the Sewells Point Police Precinct. He was ordered to work long hours, barred from training opportunities, and made to perform menial tasks. When Dennis brought the issue up with superiors, he claims he was threatened and ordered to attend unspecified counseling. Despite his careful adherence to protocol, the mistreatment continued and led Dennis to suffer physical symptoms while on the job.
In the suit filed by Attorney Leckie, Walters claims to have been “subjected to a systematically hostile work environment.” The suit also draws a correlation between the occurrence of the hostility and Lee Anne’s congressional hearing on the Flint water crisis. According to her, she and her family are now in fear that Dennis could lose his employment—especially since Dennis’ superiors have threatened him with a hardship discharge.
“We’re still recovering from Flint. We never thought we’d be in this position again,” Lee Anne told CNN. “We are afraid now for our livelihoods.”
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