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Maryland congressman says he has grave concerns about governor's response to Flint crisis

Apr 7, 2016

Gov. Rick Snyder is once again being criticized by a top congressional Democrat.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-MD, speaks during a February news conference in Flint.
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In a letter sent to the governor this week, Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings says he has grave concerns about the governor’s recent congressional testimony on  the crisis. Cummings grilled the governor last month during a hearing into Flint’s lead-tainted tap water.

“You claimed you were working with local leaders rather marginalizing them and you claimed you were being transparent,” Cummings said in his letter to Snyder.

But Cummings says the governor’s office did not include Flint Mayor Karen Weaver as it prepared Snyder’s 75-point plan to deal with the water crisis. Cummings’ letter also notes other instances where the governor’s office allegedly has not worked with local officials and congressional investigators.

“Your actions raise grave concerns about the accuracy of your testimony before our committee,” Cummings concludes.

A Snyder spokesman says the governor’s office is in almost daily communication with Flint leaders.  

“When we received this letter, top members of the governor's staff were meeting with the city council president and vice president,” says Ari Adler.

Adler questions the timing of the release of the letter.

“We received the letter almost simultaneously with the media, which hints at political finger-pointing rather than real problem solving,” says Adler.

Adler says the governor is focused on finding solutions to the crisis in Flint.

“We will continue our efforts to ensure an open line of communication continues to be available in both directions between the state and the city as the state works on delivering more than $232 million in state resources that Gov. Snyder has proposed as part of his efforts to solve problems in Flint.  We encourage all officials at all levels of government to focus their efforts on delivering the solutions the people of Flint need and deserve”

Cummings says he would like to meet with the governor, along with Mayor Karen Weaver and Flint Congressman Dan Kildee. 

Snyder’s spokesman says the invitation he extended to Cummings to meet is still open.