On Wednesday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said he feels “no reason to be concerned” with being charged in the investigation of the Flint water crisis. Snyder’s comments come on the heels of four more Michigan officials being charged in the matter, which takes the total to 13.
The most recent charges were directed at four government officials. Two of the men — Flint emergency managers Jerry Ambrose and Darnell Earley — reported directly to Snyder. Despite these new charges, Snyder told the Detroit Free Press that he personally has no fears, but “I can’t speak for the attorney general [Bill Schuette.]” All the while, publicly financed legal fees connected to the case continue to rise.
Legal fees for Snyder (which are being charged to taxpayers) have now risen to $4.9 million. The Free Press says Snyder requested a $1.5 million increase for a criminal defense contract with Warner Norcross of Grand Rapids, which is in addition to the $1.4 million contract with a Detroit private legal firm. Snyder claims not to be worried, yet he’s racking up charges to defend himself. Snyder waves this away as an expensive set of document requests by Schuette and the U.S. Attorney’s office:
“The bulk of their work is document production — a huge amount of document production. You probably had the opportunity to read more e-mails from the executive office than you ever would have thought, because we continue to produce documents … Most of it is out there already, but as they keep on asking, we keep on responding.”
Snyder’s comments come after he is facing immense scrutiny for his handling the Flint water crisis. Back in February, former Snyder aide Dennis Schornack said the governor could have perhaps dealt with the situation a little better, saying thinking more about science than finances could have helped. Snyder replied to that notion saying, “people have different perspectives and different views.”