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Civil Rights Commission draft report does not recommend lawsuit in Flint water crisis

Jan 24, 2017

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission report on the Flint water crisis will likely not recommend a lawsuit to seek remediation for people affected by the city’s lead-tainted tap water.

The commissioners received a draft report yesterday. The final report will not be made public until next month.

The commission held three public hearings in Flint in 2016, taking testimony from city residents and others. Beyond the water crisis, the panel also examined Flint’s housing and other issues.

Augustin Arbulu, the commission’s executive director, says there’s no need for the civil rights commission to add to the water crisis litigation.

“There’s a number of pending lawsuits at the federal, state level…as well as criminal investigations by the [Michigan Attorney General’s] office,” says Arbulu, “I think [we] would be duplicative if we were to delve into those areas.”

Arbulu says the report focuses on Flint’s history of civil rights and environmental justice and how that history is contributing to the city’s current problems.  

At Monday’s Michigan Civil Rights Commission meeting, Flint resident Tony Palladino urged the panel to stay focused on the water crisis.

“You are our last hope,” Palladino told the commission.