By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker
Voters may finally have a chance to remove Gov. Rick Snyder from office over his handling of the Flint water crisis after the Board of State Canvassers on Monday unanimously approved a recall petition.
The approval comes two week after similar petitions were rejected for containing grammatical errors. At the time, the Board of State Canvassers approved another recall petition, but it sought to boot Snyder for moving the state School Reform Office to a department under the governor’s control.
The new petition calls for removing Snyder for declaring “a state of emergency in the County of Genesee and the City of Flint pursuant to the constitution of the state of Michigan and provisions of Act No. 390 of the Public Acts of 1976.”
The petition was submitted by Rev. David Bullock, a Detroit-based civil rights activist who has criticized Snyder for failing to respond appropriately to a water crisis that led to the poisoning of thousands of people and may have caused a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires disease.
Snyder’s decision to declare a state of emergency in Flint led to the 2011 state takeover of finances and all other decisions that were previously made by democratically elected city officials.
While under emergency management, the state switched the city’s water source to the Flint River, despite warnings about the dangers of the highly corrosive water system.
Records have shown that state officials ignored studies about elevated levels of lead and even tried to cover up the health crisis.
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Bullock and supporters of the recall hope to raise $2 million to collect at least 789,133 valid signatures over 60 days – a daunting task. The petition is valid for 180 days.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.