Started by 2Revolutions, Jul 31, 2017, 01:44:54 PM
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QuoteMichigan's Ex-Gov. Rick Snyder Knew About Flint's Toxic Water—and Lied About Ithttps://vice.com/en_us/article/z3bdp9/michigans-ex-gov-rick-snyder-knew-about-flints-toxic-waterand-lied-about-itHundreds of confidential pages of documents obtained by VICE, along with emails and interviews, reveal a coordinated, five-year cover-up overseen by Snyder and his top officials to prevent news of Flint's deadly water from going public—while there was still time to save lives—and then limit the damage after the crisis made global headlines.All told, the waterborne bacterial disease may have killed at least 115 people in 2014 and 2015, and potentially more whose pneumonia wasn't officially considered Legionnaires' disease, the illness caused by Legionella. In addition to the outbreak, Flint's water supply was contaminated with lead and other heavy metals, harmful bacteria, carcinogens, and other toxic components. This wreaked havoc on Flint residents, leaving them with a laundry list of illnesses, including kidney and liver problems, severe bone and muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems, loss of teeth, autoimmune diseases, neurological deficiencies, miscarriages, Parkinson's disease, severe fatigue, seizures, and volatile mood disorders.Beyond this, the long-term effects of heavy-metal poisoning takes years to develop, meaning many ill residents' conditions are worsening as the years go on. Many have said they still rely on bottled water to avoid using the water that comes through their pipes and into their homes, schools, and businesses.VICE has learned that prosecutors leading the criminal investigation secretly subpoenaed key members of Snyder's inner circle, including chief of staff Dennis Muchmore, Snyder's "fixer" and top adviser Rich Baird, and state treasurer Andy Dillon, as they built a case against the governor. Documents reveal the governor's chief legal counsel, Beth Clement, knew Snyder's top officials were subpoenaed by prosecutors, suggesting Snyder knew as well (a spokesperson for Clement, now a judge, said she couldn't comment on a case pending in any court). The aggressive investigation into Snyder may explain why the governor's office's legal fees, paid for by state taxpayers, came to at least $8.5 million in the years after the water crisis made national headlines.Snyder and his administration were investigated by a team led by special prosecutor Todd Flood from 2016 to 2019. The team concluded that the administration had "committed conspiracies of ongoing crimes, like an organized crime unit," a source with knowledge of the probe told VICE.But before a case against Snyder could develop, the state's newly appointed attorney general, Dana Nessel, fired top prosecutors and investigators pursuing the case.