By Christy Strawser
LANSING (CBS Detroit) Disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick reached out from behind bars to lambaste Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder about the Flint water crisis and accuse the governor of misleading the public about his knowledge of it.READ MORE: 133,000 People Remain Under Boil Water Advisory In Michigan, Could Take Weeks Before Water Is Safe To Drink
Kilpatrick claimed the Flint water situation has been common knowledge among government officials since 2004 and says Snyder was well aware of it.
“When the current Governor of Michigan says that he ‘only recently was made aware of this issue,’ he is being misleading at best. But more than likely, he is being viciously, aggressively, and deliberately untruthful. I pray that the truth comes out. That’s what everyone in Michigan wants right? The Truth! Well, my prayer is that you all will have an opportunity to warm yourselves at the fire of Truth,” Kilpatrick wrote in a letter that was posted on a friend’s Facebook page.
In response, the governor’s spokesman Dave Murray said this: “We are focused entirely on helping the people of Flint and making sure they get the assistance they need now, and long into the future. We’re grateful that some people are stepping up to be part of the solution. Comments from people not actively working toward a solution can only serve as a distraction.”
For his part, the governor has said he only recently was made aware of the severity of the water issue in Flint where lead was unleashed into the water system when officials decided to try to save money by getting water from the contaminated Flint River instead of Lake Huron.
Residents began showing up at meetings with bottles of filthy-looking cloudy water, at least one pediatrician started a drum beat that she was seeing too many children with elevated levels of lead in their blood — and all were basically considered troublemakers and sent home by local and state leaders.READ MORE: Salvation Army Collecting Supplies For Back To School Drive
Residents and truth seekers were told over and over that state tests showed the water was safe.
When it was proven otherwise in the last few weeks, Snyder apologized for the health catastrophe in one of the state’s poorest communities.
“Mr. Snyder cited repeated missteps by members of his administration, including misunderstanding regulations and failing to immediately identify the presence of lead in Flint’s drinking water. He also said that he was told the lead problem was limited to one household, and that worries about lead were raised as long ago as last February. He pointedly thanked the whistle-blowers who detected the lead levels in the water and in children’s blood, prompting a flurry of action in recent weeks,” according to the New York Times.
It’s not enough for Kilpatrick, who is serving 28 years behind bars on federal charges of racketeering, and more, for taking bribes in office and creating schemes to enrich himself and his family while in office and setting up his friends up to do the same.
His letter says:
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“FYI Just so you all know. We (The Detroit Water and Sewage Department) were talking about the problems of the Flint Water Department (financial management, ability to perform, cleanliness of water, elimination of contaminants, mercury levels, lead levels) back in 2004. We knew (our folks in Detroit, SEMCOG, Genesee County Officials, some members of the State Legislature, and the Governor at that time) new that there were significant issues with all of those items.
In 2006 we attempted to craft a deal to put them on our water system. We were in negotiations, led by Victor Mercado, for months, and I wanted to make it work. I attended one meeting, and was on a conference call for another, expressing my willingness to make this work. SEMCOG and Judge Fiekens was also aware of this. SEMCOG was against the Agreement!
BUT, the people in Genesee County, at the table during that time (the County Drain Commissioner & his staff, a State Senator, and a State House Member all from Genesee County) wanted to keep control of the system.
Also, former Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm, was well aware of the issues with the Flint Water Department, and their inability to produce contaminant free water moving forward, nor afford the equipment & technology to do so.
When the current Governor of Michigan says that he “only recently was made aware of this issue”, he is being misleading at best. But more than likely, he is being viciously, aggressively, and deliberately untruthful. I pray that the truth comes out. That’s what everyone in Michigan wants right? The Truth! Well, my prayer is that you all will have an opportunity to warm yourselves at the fire of Truth.
I am here in prison, with a 28-year sentence, for a case where there is NO EMBEZZLEMENT, NO MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS, NO BRIBERY, NO STEALING OF ANY MONEY, as a matter of fact, NO PUBLIC MONEY AT ALL. And NO CHARGES THEREOF! 99% of Detroiters have NO idea why I’m here. They don’t know the charges, nor what I’m sentenced for. They sure do know the rumors.
I wonder how much time you get for knowingly & actually delivering unsafe, dangerous, and poisonous drinking water to the people you represent? Which in-turn causes deaths, permanent illnesses, and disabilities. Can you actually be hated, hurt, and imprisoned for ridiculous rumors about murder…and not be for actually killing people?
I pray for justice for the people of Flint! And I also pray that God will give to all of you in Michigan the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. That you all may have your eyes opened with understanding.
The blindness is hurting lots of people. Its even killing some. OPEN YOUR EYES! KMK”
A call to Gov. Rick Snyder’s office for comment was not immediately returned.