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15 Current and Former Michigan Officials Refuse to Cooperate with Congress in Flint Water Crisis Investigation

Mar 16, 2016
Press Release

15 Current and Former Michigan Officials Refuse to Cooperate with Congress in Flint Water Crisis Investigation

 

Refusals to Be Interviewed or Provide Documents Contradict Governor Snyder’s Promises of Accountability

 

Washington, D.C. (Mar. 16, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and Rep. Brenda Lawrence, Ranking Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Subcommittee on the Interior, sent a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder requesting that he direct 15 current and former state officials to cooperate with requests to participate in transcribed interviews and to produce all documents in their possession relating to the Flint water crisis.

“As of today’s date, 15 of your current and former employees have refused to comply with requests from Congress to participate in transcribed interviews and to produce documents in their possession relating to the Flint water crisis,” Cummings and Lawrence wrote.  “Their refusals directly contradict your multiple promises of transparency and accountability to the people of Flint, and they obstruct the ability of Congress to adequately investigate this crisis.”

“We have bent over backwards to address every argument these officials put forward over the past month to avoid cooperating with our requests, and we have made multiple offers to accommodate them,” Cummings and Lawrence wrote.  “Yet, despite our good faith efforts, not one of these state officials has agreed to be interviewed on the record or to provide any documents in response to our requests.”

The 15 state officials include some of Snyder’s top aides, including his former chief of staff, spokesperson, and point person on the Flint water crisis.  They are Dennis Muchmore, Richard Baird, Richard Posthumus, Sara Wurfel, John Walsh, Harvey Hollins, Brad Wurfel, Jim Sygo, Michael Prysby, Liane Shekter Smith, Nick Lyon, Matthew Davis, Eden Wells, Andy Dillon, and Wayne Workman.

“You clearly have the authority to direct current state officials to cooperate with Congress and the ability to encourage former state employees to do the same, but we have seen no evidence that you have taken either step,” Cummings and Lawrence wrote.

On March 8, 2016, Ranking Member Cummings sent a letter offering to start with just two officials, Muchmore and Baird, and to conduct these interviews in person in Michigan last week.  That offer was rejected.

“We believe that you—as the Governor of Michigan who promised transparency and accountability to the people of your state—have a responsibility to actively promote cooperation with Congress,” the Members wrote. “Lead poisoning does not discriminate based on the political affiliation of the people of Flint, and nor should you when Members of Congress seek information from officials in your administration.”

 

Click here to read today’s letter.

 

Issues: 
114th Congress