Congress asks Michigan governor to clarify Flint water crisis testimony

Gov. Snyder's testimony contradicts aide's testimony

By John Steckroth - Editor

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder received a letter from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asking for clarification of his testimony in the Flint water crisis hearings as testimony in the preliminary hearing for Nick Lyon contradicts when he may have been made aware of a Legionnaires' outbreak.

The letter warns Snyder of the laws regarding perjury and asks for additional information from the governor.

READ: Michigan AG explains why Governor Snyder hasn't been charged in Flint water probe

Nick Lyon, the state's director of health and human services, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office. During his preliminary hearing last week, Harvey Hollins III, an aide to the governor, stated that he called Snyder in December of 2015 and made him aware of the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.

During the Examining Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint hearing, Snyder testified under oath that he didn't learn about the outbreak until 2016.

The committee gave Snyder until Oct. 25 to amend or supplement his testimony.

Read the letter below:

Here is the response from Snyder, sent to Congress at 3 p.m. Thursday:

"Dear Congressmen:

"Thank you for your October 12, 2017, letter concerning my sworn March 17, 2016, testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In your letter, you quote from my sworn testimony and cite to a news report regarding portions of testimony during the fourth day of the continuing preliminary exam for Nick Lyon.

"My testimony was truthful and I stand by it. I have specifically reviewed the question and my answer referenced in your letter. While you have offered for me to clarify my sworn testimony, I do not believe there is any reason to do so.

"Additionally, myself and my office have and will continue to fully cooperate with the Committee. In fact, my office has produced tens of thousands of pages of documents to the Committee, and the Michigan Department of Attorney General has supplemented those document productions from various state departments, including the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Sincerely,

Rick Snyder, Governor"

Rep. Dan Kildee (D - MI 5th District) issued the following statement about the discrepancies:

“I am pleased that the Oversight Committee has taken swift action to look into the Governor’s conflicting statements. I have spoken with both Chairman Gowdy and Ranking Member Cummings and they agree that misleading Congress is a very serious offense. Flint families deserve to know the truth about when the Governor first learned of the Legionnaires’ outbreak. Justice for Flint families comes in many forms, including holding those in state government who created the crisis accountable.”
 

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