Flint, Republican-Fail, Rick Snyder — March 11, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Legal complaint filed against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for failing to establish a #FlintWaterCrisis legal defense fund


“Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Political Suicide” by DonkeyHotey

This post has been updated to reflect that this is a legal complaint, not a lawsuit.

The Michigan Legal Defense Fund Act requires that a legal defense fund be established for any elected official that receives contributions for “the purpose of defending an elected official in a criminal, civil, or administrative action that arises directly out of the conduct of the elected official’s governmental duties.”

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has hired two legal firms to represent him in the myriad lawsuits he faces for his role in the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water with the powerful, tasteless, odorless, invisible neurotoxin lead, what has come to be known as the “Flint Water Crisis”. To pay for them, he has approved $1.2 million in tax dollars to paid to the law firms representing him. However, he has failed to form a legal defense fund to account for these taxpayer contributions. Therefore, Progress Michigan has filed a legal complaint challenging this violation of state law, a misdemeanor punishable “by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.”

The state Administrative Board meets next week when it will decide whether or not to approve the expenditure of state tax dollars on behalf of Gov. Snyder.

Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan, explained the rationale for the complaint in a statement released this morning:

Gov. Snyder is worth an estimated $200 million dollars, but he thinks that the working people of Michigan should pay for his legal defense. Rick Snyder has continuously passed the buck for his actions in Flint and now he wants to pass the hat to the taxpayers of Michigan to pay for his own legal defense. Any public money being used related to the Flint Water Crisis needs to go to fixing the pipes, full bill reimbursement and wrap-around services for the community.

The Administrative Board should not approve these contracts next week because the taxpayers of Michigan should not be required to pay for Rick Snyder’s personal legal defense. Taxpayers were not asked to pay for the legal defense of Kwame Kilpatrick, Todd Courser or Cindy Gamrat and Rick Snyder is no better or different from them. It is incomprehensible that after destroying Flint’s water supply in the name of balanced budgets Snyder is seeking his own personal government bailout. The governor’s shame knows no bounds.

Boundless shame, indeed.

You can read the complaint HERE.

By the way, even if Gov. Snyder was using his own millions to pay for this, he would still be compelled to form a legal defense fund, according to the law.