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Flint Police Claim Break-In At Office Holding Water Documents Was ‘An Inside Job’

(REUTERS/Rebecca Cook Files)

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Burglars broke into a city hall office full of documents related to Flint’s water system just before federal investigations into the water crisis began.

A TV was the only thing taken, according to public officials.

So far no warrants have been issued and no arrests made, but that hasn’t stopped the Flint Police Department from putting forward some theories on the Dec. 28 theft.

“It was definitely an inside job,” police chief Tim Johnson told the Flint Journal Monday. “The power cord (to the TV) wasn’t even taken. The average drug user knows that you’d need the power cord to be able to pawn it.”

Johnson speculated further: “It was somebody that had knowledge of those documents that really wanted to keep them out of the right hands, out of the hands of someone who was going to tell the real story of what’s going on with Flint water.”

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver was more circumspect on the matter, though admitted the break-in is suspicious, telling reporters: “Well, sure, (it’s suspicious) when they go into a room where all the water files were and they take a TV, but not the cord to make it work, yes.”

She went on to say the burglars broke in, took a TV, and tossed documents and papers across the room. The mess made it difficult to determine whether any sensitive documents were taken, Weaver added.

“We don’t know if papers or files were taken because papers were all over the floor,” Weaver told the Flint Journal. “Maybe papers were taken, maybe they weren’t. We just don’t know.”

State and local authorities are still investigating the matter three months later.

The Flint water crisis has slowly delved into a partisan blame game.

State and local officials argue environmental regulators are the problem, while the Environmental Protection Agency has maintained it did nothing wrong and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and other public officials are to blame.

Snyder, for his part, acknowledged at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing March 17 the blame rests on all facets of government — state, local, and federal officials.

“Let me be blunt,” Snyder said during his opening remarks at the hearing. “This was a failure of government at all levels. Local, state, and federal officials – we all failed the families of Flint.”

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