Sailor whose wife attacked Clinton for leaked debate question facing retaliation at work

Lee Anne Walters (left) says her husband, Dennis (right), is facing workplace harassment and retaliation for her outspokenness about the Flint water crisis.

Lee Anne Walters and her family are now dealing with another battle in connection with the Flint water crisis that has propelled them into the national spotlight once again.

Walters’ husband, Dennis, served in the Navy for 14 years and has been in the reserves for the last six years.  She tells CNN that he is now facing workplace harassment and retaliation for her criticism and advocacy during the water crisis in Flint.  Dennis Walters filed a complaint last week claiming that he has been “repeatedly mistreated at the Sewells Point Police Precinct, which is part of Naval Station Norfolk, because his wife has been so outspoken.”

The Flint water crisis issue was brought up during the CNN town hall debate in early March.

Then CNN contributor and DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile allegedly leaked a question to Clinton aides ahead of that debate. An email to Clinton advisors reportedly read in part: “…a question directed to HRC is from woman with a rash… she will ask what if anything Hillary will do for the people of Flint.”

This is the question Lee Anne Walters asked the candidates during the debate:

“Will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the — the citizens that have said service lines?”

Clinton’s response included a promise to go even further and make a commitment for getting rid of lead wherever it is, making it a priority to change water systems and within 5 years to “remove lead from everywhere.”

When asked, during a live interview on Fox News, how she felt about Hillary receiving her question ahead of time, Lee Anne said, “I’m was disgusted by Hillary’s answer when she first answered it. I’m even more so now. I feel she should be disqualified because it have her an advantage she shouldn’t have had.”

Lee Anne continued to say it was a ‘cop-out’ to say she’d take money and put funds where there are already funds.

Hillary Clinton responds to Lee Anne Walter's question about the Flint water crisis.
Hillary Clinton responds to Lee Anne Walter’s question about the Flint water crisis.

According to court documents, Dennis was made to work “unreasonably long hours without breaks and was denied training opportunities.” Dennis claims that the harassment started about 8 months ago after his wife testified before Congress.

Lee Anne says her criticism of the EPA and the slow response to the water crisis has caused her husband problems at work even though they’ve been very careful to keep Dennis out of the advocacy efforts. Court documents show he was “effectively demoted, and reduced to administrative details that had the effect of completely removing him from any leadership role within the command.”

The couple has 5-year-old twin boys. One was diagnosed with lead poisoning, the other was exposed. Lee Anne Walters noticed changes in her son Gavin a few years ago. He was showing effects of being poisoned by lead.  He started showing signs of stunted growth.

One of the worst things about it is that symptoms could show up years from now and Gavin is only five. “Wait, watch and see — how do you live your life like that,” Lee Anne said.

Their house was one of the furthest away from the treatment facility and testing there was among the highest. “The lead levels in the Walters’ home were twice the level considered to be toxic waste,” CNN reported.

In 2014, doctors in Flint started hearing whispers about elevated lead levels in the water. One pediatrician said the percentage of children with lead poisoning doubled at that time and in some neighborhoods it tripled. That doctor sounded the alarm about lead in the water — but she says no one listened.

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Author

  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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