UPDATE 10:30 a.m. – Common Cause Michigan is responding to the emails from Governor Snyder’s office detailing senior advisors recommending Flint switch its water supply back to the Detroit source. Deputy Legal Council Valerie Brader ended her email with the line “P.S. Note: I have not copied DEQ on this message for FOIA reasons.”
Common Cause Michigan Executive Director Melanie McElroy said today that “It’s time to end this culture of secrecy in the Governor’s office and legislature by making them adhere to the Freedom of Information Act like forty-eight other states.” McElroy adds that “accountability to the public is not something that should be avoided by the Governor’s office.”
LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Two lawyers in Gov. Rick Snyder’s office urged his top aides to switch Flint back to Detroit’s water system only months after the city began using the Flint River, according to emails.
The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report Friday that Valerie Brader and Mike Gadola expressed concerns about Flint’s water in October 2014, citing E. coli and General Motors plant’s switch because the water was rusting engine parts. It was a year before the state helped Flint return to Detroit’s system after water leached lead from pipes into homes.
In emails to then-chief of staff Dennis Muchmore and others, Brader said it was an “urgent matter to fix.” Gadola, Snyder’s then- legal counsel, called the idea of using the Flint River as a water source “downright scary.”