The 7 Action News Investigators have uncovered a new bombshells in the Flint water crisis investigations.
What was ordered by Governor Snyder? How informed is the Governor now when the stakes are so high?
When Governor Rick Snyder gave his State of the State Address in January, he owned the Flint Water Crisis saying, “You deserve accountability. You deserve to know the buck stops here with me.”
But 7 Action News has serious questions: Are we getting what we deserve?
The stakes are high: 100,000 people in Flint still can’t drink their water tainted with lead. And a possible link to Legionnaires Disease caused 91 people to get sick and 12 died.
“I’m sorry most of all, that I let you down. You deserve better,” the Governor continued in January.
Four days before that speech, a criminal investigation was launched by Attorney General Bill Schuette.
But what he did not know was 9 days later, Michigan State Police would open an investigation into the Department of Environmental Quality - a key state agency in the center of the Flint Water Crisis.
“I wanted them to look into it. I think they told the AG,” Governor Snyder would say on May 2.
Not only was that wrong, the Attorney General had to request the State Police findings.
The two investigations were clearly on a collision course when the AG charged two DEQ staffers with Conspiracy and Tampering with Evidence. He was not happy with State Police telling 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner, “If there are any further reviews or investigations that become re-open, communicate with us.”
Michigan State Police Captain Greg Zarotney responded, “Looking at the broad scope of things, there’s a possibility of a crossover.”
Captain Zarotney also told 7 Investigator Kiertzner that their investigation was “Administrative” not criminal but could not answer why it was not shared with the AG.
“They could have called us too,” he said.
But Kiertzner asked, “They didn’t know you were conducting an investigation until it was done and the report was done?” Zarotney replied, “Well, our investigation was certainly not done in secret.”
Again, the AG did not know the state police investigation had happened.
Bombshell Number One, does the Governor know who’s being investigated?
Last week Governor Snyder said MSP was, “looking at the Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Human Services.”
That sounded off, wrong. We asked to make sure. The Governor continued, “My understanding is they’re also looking at the Health Department.”
Seven hours later, the Governor’s press office walked that back saying the Governor, “misspoke” the “Auditor General and Inspector General are looking into DHHS. Sorry for the confusion.”
Bombshell Number Two: We had to tell the Governor the MSP report was done in March and according to Captain Zarotney, they questioned at least 10 people and the report is 40 to 50 pages.
The Governor replied, “As a practical matter, when people deem it appropriate for me to have it, I’ll be going through that.”
Kiertzner asked, “You’re not demanding it yourself, knowing it’s been done for a month?” The Governor again said, “I didn’t know it’s been done for a month.”
We have of course asked for a copy of that Michigan State Police report. We’re still waiting.