LANSING (WWJ) Could state funding become scarce for investigating the Flint water crisis while taxpayers foot the bill to defend officials charged criminally for failing to protect residents?
Attorney General Bill Schuette thinks he’ll need more money to conduct trials and more stemming from the Flint water crisis probe, but what if Gov. Rick Snyder turns off the money spigot?
It’s a hypothetical situation that WWJ’s Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick posed to Schuette. And it’s something about which Schuette appears to be concerned, though there’s no evidence it’s an issue.
“I would be shocked, surprised, and I think everybody around would say ‘How could that be?’ It would just impede the investigation, impede justice and it would be, I think it would be a collective ‘oh my, that can’t happen,'” Schuette said.
There have also been fears that $100 million in pledged federal aid for the Flint water crisis could be jeopardized under President Donald Trump.
But Trump’s EPA transition team head Doug Ericksen told the Detroit News there is no freeze on Flint’s money, which will go to improve infrastructure including lead service lines.
In the meantime, taxpayers will pay the legal fees for officials facing criminal charges in the Flint water crisis.
The state treasury department will reimburse the city of Flint in defending former Flint Emergency Managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, per reports.
The state attorney general’s office is charging them with misconduct and committing false pretenses for allegedly misleading state officials on the need to switch to the polluted Flint River for the city’s water source.