89.1 WEMU

Snyder Needs Funds To Pay For Legal Advice On Flint

Mar 9, 2016

Flint Water Samples
Credit MPRN

Governor Rick Snyder is asking for $1.2 million to pay for outside legal counsel to help with the administration’s response to the Flint water crisis.  


Snyder Communications Director Ari Adler there are a lot of requests to process  from state and federal investigators, as well as plaintiffs’ attorneys.  “With the amount of work that needs to be done due to the large quantity of e-mails and documents that are being sorted through in relation to the Flint water crisis, the available staff in the executive office and even in working with the attorney general’s office, was simply not enough,” he said.  “And the governor pushing to release the executive office e-mails and documents that are not required to be released under FOIA, but Governor Snyder believes should be out there so people can read them for themselves.”

Attorney General Bill Schuette is also seeking $1.5 million for his hire of outside counsel and investigators to look into the Flint water crisis.  The request is to be voted on next week by the State Administrative Board, which is made up of executive department heads.  They’re all appointed by either Snyder or Schuette. 

Democrats took aim at both requests.  "It's beyond outrageous that Snyder wants to take $1.2 million from Michigan taxpayers to pay for defense attorneys over his involvement in the poisoning of Flint's water," said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon. "That money should go toward replacing lead pipes and getting safe drinking water to Flint families, not for Snyder's defense attorneys."

Dillon also says it’s improper for the investigation to be conducted by Todd Flood, a former prosecutor who has donated to both Snyder and Schuette.  Flood says that would not affect his independence.  

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org