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Lawsuits surrounding the Flint water crisis pile up

Oct 13, 2016

A Flint resident is asking the Ingham County Circuit court to convene a one-person grand jury to investigate Governor Rick Snyder’s role in the Flint water crisis.

Keri Webber’s complaint says the governor unilaterally approved spending two million dollars on lawyers in violation of state law and the Michigan Constitution. The complaint says the governor can’t approve a contract in which he has a personal stake.

Webber is a Flint resident who says her family members developed health problems after the city started getting its tap water from the Flint River. Webber says having her tax dollars go to Gov. Snyder’s legal fees, after getting medical bills and water bills, is the last straw.

“So for I think the majority of Flint, I will speak for all of those I do know, it is one more kick,” she said. “It is one more slap in the face. It is one more insult.”

Mark Brewer is the attorney on this case. He says he hopes the court will investigate where the legislature and the Attorney General have failed.

“We’re grateful, we’re thankful, that the laws of this state allow citizens like Keri to be able to go to the courts and ask them to investigate because others have failed to do their jobs,” he said.

Currently, there is no law that says a government official can’t use tax dollars to pay for private legal counsel. But Senate Minority leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) introduced a bill in September to change that.

“Obviously every dollar that’s sort of wasted on the governor’s legal fees could be going to school nurses or early education programs or early education programs,” he said. “All things we know need to happen.”

Governor Snyder has said the spending was appropriate because the investigations relate to his official duties as governor.