Governor Snyder Accused of Withholding Documents on the Flint Water Crisis

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DETROIT, MI - MARCH 1: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder talks with the news media after announcing that he will appoint an Emergency Financial Manager for the city of Detroit during a town hall meeting at Wayne State University March 1, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit has more than $14 billion in debts and liabilities. The City has 10 days to appeal Gov. Snyder's decision. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The congressional committee tasked with investigating the Flint Water crisis says that Michigan governor Rick Snyder has not produced documents that were requested of him.

Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Representative Brenda Lawrence requested documents related to the water crisis in Flint on January 29. They say that Snyder has “completely ignored” their request and are asking that the committee compel the governor to produce them.

Cummings sent a letter to Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the committee, explaining the situation and asking Chaffetz “under the full authority of the Committee” to compel Rick Snyder to release the documents. Cummings believes that “the Committee must obtain information from all levels of government — local, state, and federal — in order to conduct a responsible and complete investigation.”

Lawrence and Cummings asked for the documents last month when it was revealed that the committee was not going to require Governor Snyder to testify in the hearings on the crisis in Flint. Rep. Chaffetz has requested now that Snyder appear in March.

Among the documents that are being requested, Cummings and Lawrence have asked for:

All emails sent and received by Governor Snyder and his staff, former State Treasures and members of their staff, and former Flint Emergency Managers and their staff that relates to the drinking water supply in Flint, including the decision to switch Flint’s source of water.

All emails sent or received by Dan Wyant, former Firector, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and his staff, and employees of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from April 2014 to present relating to the drinking water supply in Flint, public complaints about Flint water quality, test results and testing of Flints water, legionnaires’ disease, steps taken or considered to inform the public about the detection of lead and other contaminants in the water, and remedial steps that could be undertaken by the public.

All emails from the former Direction of the Flint Department of Public Works and his staff from January 2011 to present that relates to the drinking water supply in Flint and the decision to switch Flint’s source of water.

Previous documents that were released before Cumming’s request were a batch of emails sent and received by Snyder in the last two years, as well as a few other documents that were made available to the state department. These, along with documents obtained by various media outlets have shown the delay of the results of lead testing in school drinking water, the awareness of the increased outbreak of Legionnaires disease, and state officials being supplied clean drinking water a full year before Flint residents.

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