What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.

Feb. 16 2010 - 2:02 pm | 211 views | 0 recommendations | 9 comments

Crestwood swallows bitter pill with its poisoned water

Residents of Crestwood, Ill. have been through more than any community should have to bear. Lied to, poisoned and now forced to pay a hefty bill to cover the legal expenses to defend the people responsible.

Chicago Tribune reporter, Michael Hawthorne, uncovered the debacle last year. Apparently Crestwood had been relying on contaiminated well water for a portion of its local water supply, but filed paperwork saying otherwise. Now everyone is tangled up in lawsuits from the State’s Attorney’s office to personal injury lawyers, all looking for compensation from the Village of Crestwood.

But it’s the people of Crestwood that are paying the bills. Nearly $1 million in legal fees thus far, according to the Tribune. Apparently Crestwood’s insurers won’t cover the defense thanks to a clause in their contract.

In a court filing by the village’s largest insurers, Scottsdale Indemnity Co. and National Casualty Co., the companies highlight contract language they contend allows them to deny coverage for the “deliberate violation of any federal, state or local statute, ordinance, rule or regulation committed by or with the knowledge of the insured.”

Taxpayers are paying to take the insurance companies to court too.

Water pollution: Crestwood legal bills exceed $1 million in water scandal – chicagotribune.com.


2 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 9 Total Comments
Post your comment »
  1. collapse expand

    The people of Illinois should be absolutely horrified that their government not only allowed this to happen, but they’re actively suppressing the truth about what the people of Crestwood have been exposed to.

    Last July the Illinois Dept. of Health said they were almost done with a cancer study… yet it’s February and they wont release it even though Michael Hawthorne of the Chicago Tribune made two FOIA requests and they refused.

    None of the people who made the decision to use a well tha they knew was contaminated have been charged criminally. They admitted what they knew and they admitted what they did.

    Why hasn’t Lisa Madigan charged them criminally yet?

    The politicians in Illinois will all be embarrasssed if the people that they are supposed to protect see the truth about what they did. They just want the story to go away… they don’t want to deal with it.

    And now the very people who were the victims of this crime have to pay for the defense of the criminals who hurt them for 22 years?

    It’s an outrage and it all needs to be exposed to the blinding sunlight so that every citizen can see just what they did, what they allowed to happen and what they tried to sweep under the rug.

    It’s a much bigger story than anyone’s figured out yet… when the pieces are all put together you will be shocked and there will be outrage.

  2. collapse expand

    I believe that Lisa Madigan and Patrick Fitzgerald are “looking into” criminal charges. Whatever that means… I think this will be book worthy for Hawthorne.

    • collapse expand

      Lisa Madigan and the Illinois EPA have had a very adversarial relationship under the direction of Doug Scott, a Blagojevich appointee… Scott actually introduced Blago at the podium on the day that he anoounced his candidacy… when Blago and Madigan started fueding the agencies stopped cooperating. Madigan should have spoken up when the IL EPA didn’t send her any cases for almost two years and Quinn should have fired Scott right after this thing was blown open.

      The Illinois EPA says a crime was committed right on their website… yet Madigan hasn’t charged anyone. So they can still exploit their office and get the people of Crestwood, the real victims in all of this to pay again and again.

      The Illinois EPA knew about this more than three years ago. They dropped the ball and people were injured because of it. Yet no one, not even Governor Quinn has even made an effort to hold them accountable for their inactions.

      Quinn said he wanted the IL EPA investigated… where’s that report? The CDC and the Illinois Dept. of Health said they were almost finished with their cancer study last July. Where’s that report?

      Bottom line? Everyone involved is still working in the same jobs they were working in when they either committed this crime or they allowed this crime to go on. That’s Illinois politics for you.

      More than 11,000 people were treated like lab rats in Crestwood, and today they’re at work earning money to pay the legal bills of the people who poisoned them.

      There’s something terribly wrong with this.

      Bobby Rush said he wanted to get to the bottom of it… he said he’d fight for the people of Crestwood. What we are going to need if we ever want to have the truth see the light of day is congressional hearings.

      One thing is for certain… the decent people of Illinois have had ‘the wool’ pulled over their eyes for a very long time.

      The people deserve to know the truth.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    You’re an impassioned advocate for the people of Illinois. Thanks for finding my blog. I hope you keep reading and commenting.

  4. collapse expand

    Jimmy Tango is ruthless in his desire to provide corrupt and self serving Illinois politicians with a public smackdown when they are so deserving. Jimmy Tango says this scandal is different, it’s got a body count.

    Jimmy Tango thinks people who hurt people should get a lot of time to think about it in prison.

    Jimmy Tango, over and out!

  5. collapse expand

    The story is I was the one who researched for ten long years trying to figure out why my son had cancer and my daughter had a brain tumor. I gave Michael Hawthorne a very large box of all of my documents with my latest findings of Crestwood and he reviewed my box and reported a great story.

  6. collapse expand

    So now we know that Crestwood has more cancer than similiar populations nearby… lots more cancer… in some cases double. That’s all we know… that there was a study by the health department and the study says there is more cancer. The study didn’t attempt to answer the question on everyone’s minds… is the contaminated water the residents of Crestwood drank responsible for these cancers? Only further study will tell.

    It was irresponsible in their press release of 3.5.10 for the IDPH to say that the increase in cancers ‘wasn’t typical of those they thought they’d find from contaminated water.’ Especially because the IDPH took pains to point out that the study wasn’t intended to determine cause.

    The IDPH is looking at two chemicals… vinyl chloride and PCE. They SHOULD be focused on the fact that the water the residents drank for two decades was being sucked out from underneath a canal that many scientists say is among the most contaminated of waterways in the world.

    There are MANY more chemicals that they should be concerned with as well as bacteriological and virological concerns and radioactive elements like radon… to focus on the two ‘name brand’ chemical found in the contaminated well water is a disservice to the people whose health is on the line.

    If the government wants to know the truth about the situation, and a lot of signs seem to point out that they don’t, if they want to know the truth about how much contaminated water the people of Crestwood really drank they would take the elecric bill or usage from the wellhouse of the contaminated Municipal Well Number One and have the pumps manufacturer tell them how much the pump really pumped with that usage.

    So far they haven’t.

    The people of Crestwood were exposed to dozens inf not hundreds of other chemicals no one is talking about because of what their mayors and leaders did and hid from them.

    Only public outcry will get the government to dig as deep as they need to dig to get to the truth.

    The people of Crestwood drank a lot more contaminated water than they’re being told and besides doing a bunch of talking, most of it worthless, the authorities haven’t done anything. No one’s been charged with a crime, everyone’s still working at the same job they were when they committed these crimes.

    Truth is that the Illinois EPA is embarrassed by their dropping the ball here and they’d rather the story just fizzle out. Shame on you Doug Scott. Shame on you Governor Quinn. Shame on you Lisa Madigan.

    You were supposed to protect the people. Looks like you’re just protecting the politicians.

    Congressman Rush, you said you’d fight for the people of Crestwood, you said you’d help us get to the truth.

    The truth is just another victim in this fiasco and the truth is going to lie buried in the lies, inactions and obfuscations of all of the involved parties.

    The cancer study, which interestingly only used cases up to 2006, says that there’s a problem.

    People are dead here. Is anyone going to do anything to bring them and their families justice?

  7. collapse expand

    Laura: To set the record straight….it was Tricia Krause who researched for ten years looking for answers as to why her son had leukemia and her daughter had a brain tumor and her two sitters had brain tumors. She did all the research for ten years, created a pin map of cancers, had town meetings for some time and as Congressman Rush states; she is an unsung hero! She then turned all of her documents over to the Chicago Tribune to Michael Hawthorne. He confimed her information and thank goodness reported a great factual story…..Thanks to her for correcting our water supply finally! We would otherwise be still drinking contaminated water forever! SHE IS OUR HERO…..!!!!

    • collapse expand

      Tricia Krause worked for a very long time to prove to the government that there was a reason her kids got sick. Again and again her claims were dismissed by the authorities, including the IL EPA.

      Once Tricia found irrefutable proof that the officials who ran the village of Crestwood were knowingly using water from a contaminated well to provide drinking water for the populace you would have thought for sure that the Illinois Attorney General or the federal government would have prosecuted these monsters for the crimes that they committed.

      You would have been wrong.

      No government agency has done anything to punish those responsible for these horrible crimes. The people who did this haven’t been charged yet with a single crime.

      The mayor and the village trustees are all still in office. The village managers who oversaw the water operations haven’t been charged either.

      The government and the agencies that are supposed to protect the people have done nothing.

      Governor Quinn said in front of the cameras “someone must pay for what they did.” Then the Governor promptly found something else to be concerned about because he forgot all about the people of Crestwood.

      The way I see it, the government is so embarrassed about what happened to the more than 11,000 people in Crestwood that they just want the whole thing to go away.

      The feds raided the Village Hall at Crestwood more than a year ago and they’ve never said anything else.

      Nobody cares.

      Nobody cares about the people of Crestwood. Nobody cares about the children who were stricken by this poison water the politicians gave them to drink. Water that they knew was toxic.

      Tricia Krause cares. She wants justice for what they did to her children and all of the children of Crestwood… she follows every clue… puts a pin in her map for every case of cancer.

      Forget the spineless politicians like Quinn and Madigan… they don’t care about the children. They’re only looking out for their own careers.

      Some people poisoned all of the kids and adults in Crestwood and the government lets the poisoners remain free and uncharged.

      What happened in Crestwood is a failure of the highest magnitude.

      The people trusted proved that trust was misplaced. They abused their offices and their authority.

      Tricia Krause is a hero alright… she’s a hero yelling into an empty wilderness where no one will do anything about the crimes she helped to uncover.

      If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it really make a sound?

      If Tricia Krause uncovered a horrific crime and no one in any authority does anything about it, was justice really served?

      Ask the children in Crestwood in twenty years.

      Illinois is disgraced.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook

My T/S Activity Feed


    About Me

    I'm an introverted extrovert and disgruntled urban dweller who can't quite bring herself to leave the city. I'm a product of the Chicago public schools who can sometimes spell correctly without spell check, community rabble rouser, self-professed tech girl and retail reporter. Whew...

    See my profile »
    Followers: 39
    Contributor Since: July 2009