LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Attorney General Bill Schuette’s investigative team probing any possible criminal wrongdoing in the Flint water crisis wants to interview Gov. Rick Snyder but those legal efforts are at a standstill and it appears that won’t happen.
The attorney general and the Governor’s lawyers to date have fought to a legal draw on bringing the Governor in to answer questions on his role in the Flint water crisis.
Late last year the Governor did spend about 12 minutes taking question on the issue, including who was to blame.
“This is a case of a handful or a very small number that made some tragic errors.”
But throughout that TV exchange the Governor never blamed anyone on his staff for “tragic mistakes.”
So who dropped the ball in getting this information to the governor in a timely manner?
“Again, the real failures go back to the experts, the drinking water experts, and they created issues within their own department, DEQ,” replied Gov. Snyder.
The Governor’s own legal advisor revealed that his mom was drinking the water in Flint months before the governor knew the extent of the problem. Did the governor hear about that red flag?
“I don’t recall,” said Mr. Snyder. When asked if his legal advisor came to him and said, `hey, my mom is drinking that water?’ he replied “I don’t recall that. I’ve been focused on solutions in Flint.”
The Governor, however, concedes he wishes he had asked more questions.
So why didn’t he? “That’s the second guessing everyone is going to do. When there is something like this, there is no way you’re not going to second guess yourself.”
But did he ever ask what went wrong there? “Again, there are so many people asking that question, everyone has theories, but the best use of my time is to solve the problem and fixing it.”
Meanwhile, the chief investigator Todd Flood has charged the state health director Nick Lyon with involuntary manslaughter, for allegedly waiting a year to tell the governor and the public that there was a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Genesee County.
The governor reports he was angry that it took so long for him to find out but he stands by Mr. Lyon even after the charges were filed against him.
Why did it take so long? “Again, we had challenges in that department. There were challenges for communication and tracking information.”
But the governor adds as soon as he learned about the problem, he told the public.
With the two sides unable to reach an agreement on interviewing the governor now, perhaps the only time that could happen is if the governor is ordered into court to testify on his role in all this.
And no one is predicting when, or even if, that will occur.