Email reveals state blocked Flint from switching water 1 year ago

Calls for Gov. Rick Snyder's resignation is grew louder Wednesday.

Calls for Gov. Rick Snyder's resignation grew louder Wednesday.

New documents reveal the state blocked Flint from switching back to Detroit's drinking water nearly a year ago.

It's the latest sign the state dropped the ball-- leaving people exposed to toxic tap water.

"It was a financial gun to the head," said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon.

That's Dillon referring to an emergency loan agreement from April of 2015 between the Michigan State Treasurer and the city of Flint's Emergency Manager. 
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It was a $7 million deal to allow the city out from under emergency management.

But there were a number of provisions. Among them, Flint had to continue with the plan to switch to the Karagondi Water Authority, and could not switch back to Detroit water without approval from the state.

"A shocking example of not only the indifference but the calculated policies the governor and his administration had of putting profits over human lives," said Dillon.

Dillon claims the state essentially forced residents to drink from the Flint River despite a 7-1 vote from the Flint City Council in March, 2015, to do everything possible to return to the Detroit water system.

As serious concerns from citizens continued to mount.

"We know what's right for our community and we shouldn't be forced into doing something that we don't agree to," said resident Desiree Duell.

The governor's director of communications Ari Adler says "The provision merely means the city couldn't use the emergency loan for things outside of the request without approval of the state treasurer."

But that's not the only document raising eyebrows on Wednesday, Progress Michigan highlighted an email from Gov. Rick Snyder to his staff way back in Feb. 2015, listing Flint water as an important topic for them to discuss.

"The email that was released today shows that Gov. Snyder knew about the issues in Flint," said Lonnie Scott of Progress Michigan. "He was calling a meeting of all of his top advisors in Feb. of 2015 even though he failed to take action until after October in 2015."

It is not known what was actually discussed at that meeting. Snyder's director of communications says "Finding the words 'Flint' and 'water' in an email from the governor is hardly indicative of anything."

But Progress Michigan says there's another issue, Gov. Snyder just released this email, but should have done so when he made that promise during his State of the State Address in January.

"(On) Jan. 20 he said he was going to release all of his emails," Scott said. "This email was not included in that batch, so it calls into question if there are other emails about this issue that have not yet been released."


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