Michigan House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel is calling for the resignation of Governor Rick Snyder for his role in the Flint water crisis.
Greimel held a press conference on Wednesday morning and released the following statement:
“Today, because it is in the best interest of the people of Michigan, I’m calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to resign for his actions pertaining to the Flint water crisis. This is a position I’ve come to after serious thought, reflection and consideration. Given the actions of negligence and indifference by the governor, and a culture he has created that lacks transparency and accountability, the very serious call for resignation is warranted. Gov. Snyder has created a culture that lacks a commitment to transparency and accountability and that is obsessed with spreadsheet totals, public relations positioning, and ‘pass the buck’ politics that put the health of 100,000 people in jeopardy and may have taken the lives of nine Michiganders. It is a culture so pervasive that when scientists and Flint residents sounded the alarm, they were mocked, dismissed and subjected to public relations spin rather than being listened to. It is a culture so pervasive that for months, the problem was allowed to continue, even to the point of ignoring scientific evidence that the crisis had potentially grown to a fatal level. In the end, it is a culture created by the governor, for which he is ultimately responsible.”
The governor's office then responded with the following, addressing a document that showed the State of Michigan restricted Flint from switching water in a loan deal:
"The State Democratic Party’s accusations are wrong. The provisions in the loan agreement were put in place to ensure the proper oversight of money sent to Flint by taxpayers from across the state but nothing was prohibited as this latest round of political rhetoric is suggesting. The provision merely means the city couldn’t use the emergency loan for things outside of the request without approval of the state treasurer. The $7 million emergency loan was requested by Jerry Ambrose, who at the time was the Emergency Manager for Flint. It was designed to end the city’s deficit and, therefore, allow the Emergency Manager to leave the city and restore local control, which is indeed what happened. I am being told by the Treasury Department that such provisions are commonplace with emergency loans because they are traditionally for specific purposes and oversight provisions are used based on the request that is made."
State Treasurer Nick Khouri also weighed in:
“The emergency loan agreement with the city of Flint, signed April 29, 2015, just days after I became State Treasurer, provided the City with $7 million to eliminate the City’s deficit and allow the emergency manager to leave.
“At no time did the loan agreement with Flint prohibit the city from returning to the Detroit Water System. It required the City only to notify, and receive State approval, before making such a decision.
“As with any emergency loan agreement, there are a number of financial conditions included to ensure that a local unit of government remains on solid financial footing and does not slip back into financial emergency.
“At no time did the State receive a request from the City, to move back to DWSD, between April 29, 2015 and October 2015, when the City reconnected to DWSD, with State Financial assistance.”