Rep. Riley Calls Out Engineering Firm On “Withholding Information”

One state lawmaker is calling out the city of Springfield, a local engineering firm, and any other agencies that he believes withheld information from the public about a historical find in the capital city.

Thursday, Rep. Al Riley said he’s concerned about a gap of several months from when Hanson Engineering found remains of old homes burned during a 1908 race riot and when that finding was announced to the public.

Workers found the artifacts on Carpenter Street between 9th and 11th, while working on high speed rail construction.

Riley believes Hanson Engineering and any other agencies that knew about the findings withheld information in fear that it would slow the project.

“Unless Hanson [Engineering] can prove otherwise, they withheld information that the public should’ve known and we want to know why they did that. So if they feel it won’t hold anything up, great, we don’t think it should. But they should also move forward with some kind of disposition about how these artifacts are going to be recognized, revered and around for everybody to see going forward,” Rep. Riley said.

Newschannel 20 spoke to Hanson Engineering’s chief environmental scientist. He says all of the information they get is turned over to the Federal Railroad Administration, and it’s up to that agency to decide what is released to the public.