Rick Snyder finally pushed the citizens he has been systematically abusing too far. Now he might end up facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over his intentional poisoning of the citizens of his own state with toxic levels of lead.
— Michigan News (@NewsMichigan) April 6, 2016
Citizens of Flint came together and filed a RICO lawsuit against Governor Snyder. The lawsuit totals 17 counts and was announced at a press conference earlier this week. Chet Kern, one of the attorneys litigating the case on behalf of the people, said the state knowingly put residents in danger to save what was, relatively speaking, just a few dollars. This was done despite the fact that Flint could have protected its residents while using bankruptcy protection law to manage its fiscal problems, without switching to the water that ended up poisoning the entire city.
The RICO statute is being used to go after Governor Snyder personally since he has insulated himself with several levels of bureaucrats to give himself plausible deniability. RICO has previously been used successfully to target criminals that have underlings carry out their orders, which is essentially how Snyder attempted to distance himself while maintaining direct control of the situation that led up to Flint.
It’s going to be a hard case to defend against, with the revelations that have come out since the issue was picked up by the national media at the beginning of 2016. There is a very long paper trail showing that Snyder and his cronies were well aware of the issue for over a year, and chose to do nothing citing budget reasons.
At the same time, Snyder chose to give a 1.7 billion dollar giveaway in taxes to corporations. Snyder could have kept Flint on safe water for years and years with that kind of money. Instead, he ordered his underlings to do what they did, and when problems arose he chose to ignore them. Now his problems have finally caught up with him. Estimates of reimbursement of the water bills during the time people were paying for poison could be higher than $50 million. This doesn’t count damages to the people’s health and other lifetime costs associated with lead-related disabilities.
The great Republican experiment of Michigan has failed spectacularly, and it’s just the latest in a line of Republican governors that have proven to be little more than domestic terrorists. Hopefully, voters hold them accountable very soon.
Featured image via Bill Pugliano / Getty