Politicians in Michigan intend to pay nearly $3 million to lawyers for services rendered in connection to the water contamination crisis in Flint, the March 8 agenda for the State Administrative Board revealed Tuesday.
Governor Rick Snyder, according to a report about the agenda from local news outlet MLive.com, authorized agreements with two separate law firms to spend up to $1.2 million in taxpayer funds on services related to the Flint water crisis, including records management, investigations, and “civil litigation.”
“It’s beyond outrageous that Snyder wants to take $1.2 million from Michigan taxpayers to pay for defense attorneys over his involvement in the poisoning of Flint’s water,” state Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon said in a statement.
Governor’s office spokesperson Ari Adler blamed the need to process an “enormous amount of data,” including emails which will have to be redacted for public release. “You can’t just magically make things appear,” Adler said. “You have to search for them and process them.”
In addition, Attorney General Bill Schuette asked for $1.5 million in taxpayer funds to pay another law firm to investigate the Flint water incident. Critics have lambasted the request as cronyism, since the lawyer appointed to head up the investigation made political contributions Gov. Snyder.