DETROIT – Amid calls for his resignation, Gov. Rick Snyder has made Fortune's list of disappointing leaders.
Snyder is ranked among 19 other political and business leaders on the list.
Fortune gave Snyder the "Don't Blame Me, I'm Just The Governor Award" over his handling of the water crisis in Flint.
The magazine writes: Snyder and his team sparked national outrage after an attempt at cost-savings left the impoverished city of Flint, Mich. with a lead-tainted water supply that is being blamed for illness and brain damage, especially among its youngest residents. Called to testify before Congress, Snyder, who touted his competence in his gubernatorial campaign, labeled the experience the “most humbling” of his life—then attempted to shift blame. He described it as a “failure of government” and blasted the Environmental Protection Agency for its “dumb and dangerous” rules on allowable amounts of lead in water systems.
Flint's water has been contaminated by lead leaching from old pipes, the result of a lack of corrosion control when the city was tapping the Flint River.
What sets apart the Flint debacle apart from water contamination problems elsewhere is that it was a man-made disaster, not one solely resulting from aging pipes and infrastructure overdue for replacement, a nationwide problem.
Investigators determined that Snyder's staff reacted sluggishly to early signs of trouble. State health officials cast doubt on a Flint doctor's findings that lead levels in local children had spiked after the water source change.
In what some consider the most puzzling failure of all, officials with the state DEQ not only misread federal regulations dealing with corrosion control but rebuffed a federal scientist who tried to correct them.