By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker
Embattled Gov. Rick Snyder released 274 pages of e-mails and other documents about the Flint water crisis Thursday that reveal a stubborn, often arrogant administration and state bureaucracy that failed to protect residents from being poisoned despite mounting evidence that the water was hazardous.
Snyder’s administration was often dismissive of its major role in the Flint water crisis, even though the state ultimately signed off on switching the city’s water supply to the Flint River and was responsible for addressing the health hazards that resulted.
On Sept. 26, two days after a second study revealed elevated lead levels in Flint’s water, Snyder’s chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, was unwilling to accept responsibility and was more irritated by Democrats and “the anti everything group.”
“I can’t figure out why the state is responsible except that (state Treasurer Andy) Dillon did make the ultimate decisions so we’re not able to avoid the subject,” wrote Muchmore, who retired at the end of the year.
Muchmore complained that “some in Flint” were “trying to turn (the water crisis) into political football claiming the departments are underestimating the impacts of the populations and particularly trying to shift responsibility to the state.”
Flint was under state control at the time.
Muchmore continued: “It’s really the city’s water system that needs to deal with it.”
Snyder took an entirely different tone during the State of the State on Tuesday, saying he accepted responsibility and should have acted more swiftly.
“To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight as I have before, I am sorry and I will fix it,” Snyder said during his annual speech.