Some new emails reveal Governor Snyder “allegedly” ordered the Department of Environmental Quality to withhold lead tests in Flint:
Gov. Rick Snyder and other state officials allegedly withheld lead testing results from county health officials while they worked to find ways to present the information to the public, according to emails obtained by The Flint Journal.
Local health officials say the governor and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality withheld lead testing results, including results from a Flint elementary school, while the agency discussed the best way to present the information to the public.
But, Snyder’s office said Wednesday, Feb. 10, that information was shared quickly after testing and denied withholding any information
Emails obtained this week from the Genesee County Health Department through the Freedom of Information Act show growing frustration on the county’s part as it attempted to obtain information from the DEQ.
“MDEQ explained that the Governor prohibited releasing all Genesee County lead results until after the press conference,” wrote Jim Henry,Genesee County’s environmental health supervisor.
Here’s one email that won’t put the governor’s people in good light:
According to an Oct. 18 email Henry wrote to county Health Officer Mark Valacak summarizing the meeting, DEQ apologized for not releasing school lead results in a timely manner and claimed they were ordered by Snyder to delay the release.
Henry, the Genesee County health official, also asked state officials for testing results at a particular elementary school, only to face delays, and then be ultimately told the information would become available once the state figured out a presentation plan.
These are the first emails showing how Snyder was getting involved. It’s obvious he and his staff finally recognized the disaster, and began to panic (what took them so long?). The emergency manager’s role was to cut, cut, and cut. All of that cutting resulted in the Flint Water Crisis. It’s still not known why the Snyder administration decided single-handily to switch from Detroit’s water to the Flint River. Saving money was not the issue. The Detroit Water Authority was offering cheaper rates to Flint, but the emergency manager(s) refused.
That the administration delayed even for a few days to inform the public displays both panic and politics.
Flint residents deserved better.
Governor Snyder recently hired two public relations firms to help his administration deal with improving his image. Since then, Snyder signed an emergency spending bill in Grand Rapids. Not Flint! In Grand Rapids.
A week or two later, Snyder thought it prudent to throw a lavish birthday party for his wife, including a “decadent” cake!
I’m guessing Flint water wasn’t used in that cake.
Are these PR firms trying to sabotage Snyder? If so, he should demand his money back.