May 18, 2007
Jefferson City, Mo. — After reviewing the investigative report compiled by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and meeting with Gov. Matt Blunt today, Attorney General Jay Nixon announced that the state would not pursue criminal charges related to the collapse of the Taum Sauk reservoir. The reservoir failed in December 2005, destroying much of Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park in Reynolds County.
"After reviewing the investigative report from the Highway Patrol and after discussing the matter with the Governor, I accept the Patrol's assessment that there is no suspect in this case," Nixon said. "Therefore, the state will not pursue criminal charges in this matter."
Nixon made the announcement after his office and the Highway Patrol met with the family affected by the collapse and after reviewing thousands of pages contained in the Highway Patrol investigative report, which was turned over to the Attorney General's Office on April 20, 2007.
"While the Highway Patrol found no suspects to charge criminally in its investigation, it is clear that Ameren repeatedly put profits over safety," Nixon said. "For this they will be held accountable. My position is that any settlement of this suit must include the following components: rebuild the reservoir with improved safety guarantees, recompense for the affected communities, and protection for ratepayers, who should not have to pay the costs associated with the collapse and the rebuild.
"Progress has been made in today's meeting on these core issues toward developing a unified state position," Nixon said. "Our staffs will be working out the details to move this process forward toward a resolution that is tough on Ameren, fair for the families and communities involved, and good for the people of Missouri."
Because the criminal matter is complete, the report by the Highway Patrol is now public.