Gov. Snyder accused of deleting Flint e-mails, misleading Congress about water crisis

Gov. Rick Snyder, via Michigan Municipal League.
Gov. Rick Snyder, via Michigan Municipal League.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Gov. Rick Snyder pledged to release all of his e-mails related to the Flint water crisis earlier this year, but he failed to say some of the communication may have been deleted.

Now his office acknowledges that some e-mails may be gone.

“There were e-mails that could have been deleted prior to April of 2013, which is when the litigation hold started, but he doesn’t recall ever doing so,” Ann Heaton, the governor’s press secretary, told Michigan Radio.

The governor’s office said Snyder intended to release all e-mails for the time period after the state was sued over the water crisis.

“He just doesn’t think he had anything on that topic and that if it was on that topic, it likely would have been important and probably would have been retained,” Heaton said. 

Congressman Elijah Commings, D-Maryland, a leader on the oversight committee investigating the Flint water crisis, said Snyder “continues to withhold documents and witnesses from Congress.”

“The Governor’s written answers to the Committee raise a whole new set of concerns about the accuracy of his testimony before Congress in March,” Cummings said in a written statement. “We already knew his testimony was misleading when he claimed he was working closely with the Mayor of Flint—at the same time he was uttering those words, he was withholding from the Mayor a plan to address the crisis he had been working on for weeks. Now he has reversed his sworn testimony before the Committee and admitted that he did in fact delete some of his emails, and we may never know what they said. Although he claims he was aware of problems with Flint’s water, he repeatedly claims that he can’t recall basic information from that period.”

He added: “Despite Governor Snyder’s repeated promises to be transparent and accountable and to cooperate with Congress, his actions are impeding our ability to thoroughly investigate this crisis.”

Steve Neavling

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.

  • Kenn32

    Very interesting that Snyder’s emails no longer exist. My wife worked in a State office for many years. She says that any emails deleted from the State system are never truly deleted, so they can be recovered if any problems or dicrepancies appear in the future. Does Snyder use a private server like the Hildabeast did?

  • kathy

    Snyder’s side of his story is not adding up. Its grounds for further investigation from the FBI and other federal government agencies. Hopefully, Snyder, his administration and others will be charge with criminal negligence.

  • Dongald Trumpenis

    There are only TWO options:

    1. Snyder is completely incompetent, and SOMEHOW managed to create an administration that is ONLY capable of marvelously implementing his fascist agenda but somehow concealed the entire Flint Water Crisis from, and never emailed or contacted him about it, OR-

    2. Snyder knew about the problems right from the beginning, but stonewalled addressing the problem in order to protect the Karegnondi Water Pipeline- lest Flint switch immediately switch back over to Detroit water at the new 50% lower price- possibly rendering Karegnondi unnecessary.

    In either case- he should be thrown out of office.

  • Donald E. Hodge

    This is the very reason why the F.B.I. is involved in this investigation. So where the hell are the indictments!

  • Klann Killa

    Why would anyone be shocked at these allegations, “Rick the Prick” is a weasel, a worm, and a snake. GM got the fuck outta Flint, but not before The Prick got a couple of Corvette motors so he bolt them on to his paper shredders.

  • churchchurchliquorstore1

    A good politician always accidentally deletes important emails. Otherwise, it would implicate them in their crimes against humanity.

  • Harry Palmer

    The emails and Snyder’s role in Flint’s problem are important, but equally important is the f**ked up EM law, that should be at the very least, re written to include local, representative control & accountability or lacking that, scrapped altogether (as it was when Michigan voted it out in the first time).