Michigan lawmakers hold their own hearing on Flint Water Crisis
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - The former Emergency Manager of Flint was in Washington DC Tuesday where he was grilled over his organization's response to Flint. But the House Oversight Committee wasn't the only ones asking questions.
In Lansing, state lawmakers held their own hearings to figure out what went wrong.
The State Auditor General recapped his conclusions that the Deprtment ofg Environmental Quality made some major mistakes in his handling of the Flint water crisis.
"It certainly shows we have weaknesses in the DEQ and throughout the state," Sen. Jim Stamas said. "There should be a better process going forward.
The Democrats on the legislative panel want subpoena power to figure out who knew what and when. But the Republicans are not ready to go there yet. Rep. Ed McBroom from the UP wants to wait to see which witnesses refuse to show up to their hearing.
"Subpoena powers are always that hammer over anybodies head about whether to come in or not," McBroom said.
Flint Democrat Jim Ananich wants to hear from the governor and the four emergency managers that presided over the switch to Flint River water. He also argues that the governor should take the one million dollars in taxpayer money, allocated to pay for two private lawyers, and divert it to the citizens in Flint.
"I question whether or not paying for a criminal defense attorney is even legal to use state money for that," Ananich said.
The governor's office believes it is legal.
Some Flint residents attended the hearing hoping lawmakers will eventually get to the bottom of all this.
"I think there is so much finger pointing and so much PR spin it will be hard to get to the bottom, but with enough digging I think they will get to the clear story," Flint activist Melissa Mayes said.
More hearings are scheduled for next week.