How Much Did Governor Snyder Know About The Flint Crisis, and When Did He Know?

Thousands of emails from Governor Snyder’s inner circle regarding Flint’s water.

The Flint River in downtown Flint.

The Flint River in downtown Flint.

How much did Governor Snyder know about the Flint water crisis, and when did he know? Late last week thousands of pages of emails were released from Governor Snyder’s office regarding the Flint water crisis. The emails show the governor’s office knew in 2014 there were concerns over the water quality negatively affecting health in that community, and that the office tried to temper media reaction rather than go public with the bad news. Snyder is never directly tied to emails discussing the problems with Flint’s water, but everyone in his immediate circle are in on the messages. 

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by Detroit Free Press political reporter Paul Egan, and Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer.

“The governor ran saying he was a competent manager,” says Kaffer. Kaffer adds the emails reflect a governor who was either well aware of the dangers of Flint’s water for many months or a governor who has a staff surrounding him also withholding vital information from him. “What does that mean about what’s going on in your office and what kind of leader you are?”

Read Paul Egan’s latest story on the emails on the Detroit Free Press:

Gov. Rick Snyder could have declared a state of emergency in Flint months earlier than he did, according to an e-mail sent to the governor’s office from a Michigan State Police emergency expert and released by the Snyder administration over the weekend.

Snyder acknowledged lead poisoning of Flint’s drinking water around Oct. 1, but faced strong criticism for not declaring a state of emergency in Flint and Genesee County until more than three months later, on Jan. 5.