Gov. Rick Snyder Dismisses Concerns About His Role In Flint Water Crisis

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday he doesn’t think the state’s attorney general will charge him over his handling of Flint’s water crisis.

“I have no reason to be concerned,” the lame-duck Republican governor told reporters when asked if he was worried Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will file charges.

Snyder’s legal fees related to the tainted water scandal are expected to top $4.9 million. His criminal defense contract with Warner Norcross tops $1.5-million, bringing the cap on that contract to $3.5 million.

He also forged a $1.4-million contract with Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, a Detroit firm providing civil legal defense. Michigan taxpayers are footing the nearly $5 million bill.

Snyder said the bulk of the money spent on the Warner Norcross contract is for attorneys to dredge up and prepare documents requested by Schuette’s team regarding the crisis.

“The bulk of their work is document production — a huge amount of document production,” Snyder said.

Several Snyder-appointed city managers — Darnell Earley and Jerry Ambrose — are facing criminal charges leveled by Schuette Tuesday. Earley and Ambrose made changes to the city’s drinking water resulting in wide-spread cases of lead poisoning.

They’re being held responsible for the decision to connect the dilapidated-town’s drinking water to the nearby contaminated Flint River.

The hard-nosed Republican attorney general charged a handful of environmental regulators in April with a slew of charges related to the debacle.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official Mike Prysby, Flint water department supervisor Stephen Busch and the city’s water quality control supervisor Mike Glasgow were all charged in April with felonies related to the water crisis.

Busch, Prysby, and Glasgow were charged with misconduct and tampering with evidence. Glasgow was also charged with neglecting his duties. Prysby allegedly told Glasgow at a meeting in 2014 that it was unnecessary to treat Flint water pipe lines with phosphate chemicals.

Snyder, for his part, doesn’t believe that the emergency managers Schuette is targeting legally were actively trying to cut corners on the pipeline at the expense of public safety or health.

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