Watchdog group's released emails don't illustrate full story - WNEM TV 5

Watchdog group's released emails don't illustrate full story

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

After shoveling her driveway, Barb Wiley won’t be quenching her thirst with water from the tap.

"I'll never drink this water again, never ever drink this water again," Wiley said.

She said she's lost all trust in state government and Wiley said new emails released, showing that the state trucked in water a year ago for some of its employees, simply add salt to the wound.

"It's ridiculous, I mean Snyder needs to just step down, he needs to step down," Wiley said.

The government watchdog group, Progress Michigan released the emails on Thursday and state officials aren't denying it.

We know last January the department of technology, management and budget offices installed water coolers because employees had concerns about the city's water quality.

Those concerns came just days after the city warned residents of high TTHM levels in the water, a byproduct of chlorine used on the water.

"It shows that they took action by taking water coolers into the state offices even as they ignored calls for help from the residents in Flint," said Lonnie Scott, Progress Michigan executive director.

Scott said this is more evidence that the state had to know something wasn't right.

But Dave Murray, Gov. Rick Snyder's spokesman, said in a text: "This was related to the concerns about color and odor, and weeks later the state awarded the city a $2 million grant for water infrastructure repairs."

DTMB spokesman Caleb Buhs said the same thing.

"DTMB provided water coolers near the drinking fountains in the Flint State Office Building to provide an option for the building tenants," Buh said. "The city's notice stated referenced elevated trihalomethanes (TTHM)."

But, Scott said this should have been enough to raise even more questions.

"Whether they knew at that point it was lead or not, it should have been enough of a concern to listen to the residents of Flint and take their concerns seriously," Scott said.

And people like Wiley believe that's why the city is at the point it is now.

"We shouldn't have waited until it got this bad, it should have been solved," Wiley said.

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