Court testimony exposes governor’s lies about Flint water crisis
9 October 2017
In a critical turn of events in a Flint courtroom, testimony given by Harvey Hollins, an appointee of Governor Rick Snyder, contradicted Snyder’s repeated claims that he did not learn of a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease until January 12, 2016.
On October 6, in Genesee County’s 67th District Court, Hollins stated he told Snyder about the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in December 2015. The Flint water crisis began three and a half years ago when the city’s water source was switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River without adding corrosion controls, an act of negligence which allowed lead to leach from the pipes. Although health experts warned of the danger of Legionnaires’ disease and the possible link to the change in the city’s water source as early as October 2014, their efforts to investigate the situation were blocked by high-placed officials in state and federal agencies.
The issue of whether Snyder lied under oath before a US congressional hearing in March 2016, is a significant development. The matter arose during a preliminary hearing concerning the first of 13 officials facing criminal charges over the Flint catastrophe. The hearings are being held to determine if there is probable cause for the matter to proceed to trial. Attorney-General Bill Schuette, who recently announced his candidacy for governor, has been trying to distance himself from the highly unpopular Snyder.
The first hearing, which began September 21, involves Nick Lyon, the highest-ranking state official charged to date. Lyon remains the director of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter for the…