FLINT, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – Meijer arranged a donation of 1,500 water filters in Flint last summer but insisted on anonymity and even offered to give gift cards so the state could purchase them.

The disclosures are in emails released in recent days by Gov. Rick Snyder. The filters were distributed by Flint pastors, weeks before Snyder finally acknowledged that the city’s corrosive water was leaching dangerous levels of lead in old plumbing.

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The Detroit Free Press reports that Meijer worked with Clorox to provide the Brita filters, worth about $20,000.

In an email to a Snyder aide, Meijer executive Mark Murray said: “Given all the circumstances, we are not interested in any publicity.” He didn’t elaborate.

A full year before his administration helped the city reconnect to Lake Huron water after lead contamination was exposed, two top advisers were already advocating the move, citing E. coli and a General Motors plant’s rusting parts. Snyder’s chief legal counsel even told the chief of staff that using Flint River water was “downright scary.”

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Yet the Republican governor insists those specific warnings — weeks before his re-election — were never given directly to him, and state officials decided then that it would cost too much to rejoin Detroit’s system.

Flint residents were complaining for months about water quality, but the Snyder administration was insisting the water was OK.

 

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