Michigan Republican Party asks attorney general to give feds control of investigation into Midland tragedy

Laura Cox calling on Gretchen Whitmer to rescind her executive order blocking FOIA requests

A view of the flooded Sturgeon Avenue and Gibson Street in Midland, Mich. on Thursday, May 21, 2020. The Edenville Dam failed on Tuesday, May 19 and caused the Tittabawassee River to flood many area throughout Midland. (Kaytie Boomer/The Bay City Times via AP) (Kaytie Boomer, Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com)

DETROIT – In recent days the Detroit News and Bridge Magazine have published stories about Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s lawsuit against the owner of the Edenville Dam, which tragically failed on Tuesday forcing thousands to evacuate their homes because of the floods.

Nessel’s suit called for water to be added to Wixom Lake over the objection of the dam’s owner, who was concerned more water could lead to the dam’s failure. Nessel wanted more water added to promote the safety of freshwater mussels, which she alleged were being damaged by the low water levels.

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox is calling on Nessel to recuse her office from the investigation of the Edenville Dam tragedy and transfer the inquiry to federal authorities.

Cox also called on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to rescind her executive order blocking Freedom of Information Act Requests during the COVID-19 crisis so that members of the press can do their due diligence and examine the state’s role in the tragedy.

“I am heartbroken by the devastation that has affected so many families in Mid-Michigan, and my prayers are with them as they begin the recovery process,” said Cox.

"With these troubling new revelations that the state’s lawsuits may have played a role in this tragedy, it is clear that Attorney General Dana Nessel should not lead this investigation. Therefore, the Michigan Republican Party calls for the Attorney General to turn over the investigation of the Edenville Dam’s failure to federal authorities. In addition, to have full public transparency, Governor Whitmer must rescind her order absolving the executive branch from FOIA requests effective immediately.”