Congressmen tell Snyder, EPA chief to resign over Flint water crisis
EPA chief, Michigan governor face tough questions about Flint
WASHINGTON - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is responsible for lead contamination in Flint, Michigan's water supply and would likely face criminal charges if he were running a business, a Democratic lawmaker said Thursday.
"There is no doubt in my mind that if a corporate CEO did what Governor Snyder's administration has done, he would be hauled up on criminal charges," Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said of the Republican governor.
"The board of directors would throw him out. And the shareholders would revolt," Cummings said.
Snyder told the panel at a contentious hearing that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality repeatedly gave him assurances that water being piped in from the Flint River was safe, when in reality it had dangerous levels of lead.
But Cummings said the governor should have done more to push back against state experts. The committee has obtained documents "showing that people all around the governor were sounding the alarms, but he either ignored them or didn't hear them," Cummings said, citing emails showing that Snyder's top legal adviser warned in October 2014 that Flint should "get back on the Detroit (water) system" as soon as possible "before this thing gets too far out of control."