KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Government investigators have determined Bannister officials “misled employees and the public regarding contamination,” according to an aid to Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).
Cleaver Aid Danny Rotert said he was briefed on the findings shortly after the IG gave details to Cleaver’s chief of staff. Staffers with Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.) say they have not yet been briefed.
The GSA planned a news conference at 1 p.m. Monday. Bond called for the review after an NBC Action News investigation identified a list of sick and dead workers along with evidence of toxins at the complex that officials denied.
“They had not done a good job of telling employees how to get help,” Rotert said about the report’s findings. “They just left their employees in the dark.” Rotert said the GSA also failed to meet responsibilities to report contamination problems to state regulators at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Since launching the investigation in November of 2009, NBC Action News has identified more than 400 sick or dead employees who worked at the Bannister Federal Complex. More than 130 are dead. GSA shares space at the facility with Honeywell which makes non-nuclear parts for nuclear bombs under contract with the Department of Energy.
The DOE has paid out more than $24 million dollars to bomb part making employees that government panels ruled were likely made sick from toxins, but the program does not cover sick workers in the same building where the GSA tenants work.
GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has not made a public comment on the sick and dead workers since the launch of our investigation, and did not immediately respond to NBC Action News requests for an interview concerning the IG findings.
In response to the NBC Action News investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency is considering placing the office complex on the National Priorities List of Superfund Sites.
The Centers for Disease control also launched an investigation in response to our reports and has identified pathways from the side of the office building where Honeywell makes parts for nuclear bombs to where the sick employees worked on the GSA side.
Rotert said the report did not find current health risks, but acknowledged that it didn’t review possible health issues related to contamination in years past.
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