The public lead scare in the City of Jackson came after a whistle blower by the name of Jonathan Yaeger, who worked for Jackson Public Works Department released information about a possible source to the Clarion Ledger. He was terminated for issuing a statement on record to the Clarion Ledger about his findings on soon to be discarded, corroded, plumbing parts from contractor.
Mr. Yaeger might have not known the miles of legal red tape that he had to go through to make his claim an official one to legally be classified as a whistle blower. If Mr. Yaeger followed the letter of the law, Mississippi might be an at-will employment state but there are Federal Laws that protects whistle blowers. He might still be so, if a lawyer will take the case for whatever reason that can be determined.
The only ethics that Mr. Yaeger violated in the NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers were:
Rules of Practice
1.d Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or associate in business ventures with any person or firm that they believe is engaged in fraudulent or dishonest enterprise.
1.e Engineers shall not aid or abet the unlawful practice of engineering by a person or firm
– See the Complete NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers http://www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics
It is my opinion that, there wouldn’t have been a “scare” if the City of Jackson had been focused on becoming the city that city officials boasts about. Instead, even in the article from the Clarion Ledger, the City wasn’t going to notify the public at all and defraud the residents in providing substandard utilities. For the City of Jackson to continue to provide water to residents and potential new residents about the water provided by the city containing lead is beyond dishonest and is unethical in itself. To continue to use substandard materials without updating the current infrastructure to provide residents water is downright unlawful. Residents that hire contractors and inspectors won’t stand for substandard craftsmanship, why would Jackson? Cutting corners?
The City of Jackson and the MSDH kept blaming homeowners for the increasing lead problem when the major lead problem is in the city water infrastructure and wouldn’t have been addressed if not for the efforts of Mr. Yaeger.
As a temporary requirement, Jackson should pay residents restitution for the health hazard until the lead problem has been rectified just like people and businesses has to pay fines when it is determined that lead has been introduced to greywater system. Fat chance of that happening… Jackson is already broke and dealing with a major legal dispute with the takeover of the Jackson Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport, which isn’t technically in the City of Jackson like Hawkins Field is, but on Annexed land, but that’s another story.
Jackson water employee fired after talking lead to media
A Jackson Public Works employee who told the media about the city’s pipe materials has been fired.
Code of Ethics | National Society of Professional Engineers
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