Gov. Snyder confronted on when he knew about Legionnaires' - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Gov. Snyder confronted on when he knew about Legionnaires'


Gov. Rick Snyder made a pair of stops in Mid-Michigan on Monday touring Flint’s new Ferris wheel innovation center.

The 46,000 square foot art-deco building will serve as a self-proclaimed innovation hub.

Its goal is to pair young entrepreneurs with business experts through office space and non-profit organizations.

Several grants were used for the $7.5 million renovation.

Snyder also dropped by Kettering University’s First Robotics Center where he signed legislation that’s meant to help students get scholarships for college.

While the governor was well received, he was on shaky ground with some in the Vehicle City.  

Last week a former staffer said the governor knew about the deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ in Flint long before blowing the whistle.

TV5’s James Felton asked Snyder about Harvey Hollins' testimony.

“Well let’s get on topic first,” Snyder said. “This is in terms of topics. It’s great to be here with the Ferris wheel. No, there are important things going on here today please let’s respect that.”

“But will you answer that question today,” Felton asked.

“Hold on,” Snyder said.

Snyder was in no hurry to answer TV5's tough questions. One of his staffers, Hollins, testified in court that the governor knew about Legionnaires' three weeks before he told the public.

>>Read more: MI Health Director gives testimony in Legionnaires’ case<<

“Your reaction to his testimony that he claims you knew three weeks before you went public about Legionnaires',” Felton said.

“I stand by my statement,” Snyder said.

“What is your statement,” Felton asked.

“That I knew at a later date,” Snyder said.

State Rep. Sheldon Neeley said something is not right.

“Someone’s not telling the truth whether it be Harvey Hollins or the governor,” Neeley said.

Neeley believes either the governor or Hollins could be in serious legal trouble based on their sworn testimony.

“Somebody is going to be liable for perjury,” Neeley said.

According to his testimony, Hollins claims the governor was made aware of Legionnaires’ during a conference call the pair were on Dec. 24, 2015. But the governor testified before a congressional committee that he didn’t find out about it until January of 2016.

“That’s very troubling, there’s no question about it,” State Senator Jim Ananich said. “The continuation of stories that seem to be not matching up.”

Ananich said he wants to know who is telling the truth. TV5 cut the chase and asked the governor if he thought Hollins was lying.

“Were you disappointed with Hollins’ testimony,” Felton said. “I mean is he a liar?”

“Again, I stick by my statement,” Snyder said.

Ananich lives in Flint and like everyone in the city, he is still dealing with the water crisis.

"I'm still using bottled water. My son is 2-and-a-half-years-old, probably never going to touch Flint water when it comes to drinking or ingesting it," Ananich said.

He is just one of the many residents who don't trust the water or the government officials who tout its improving quality.

Ananich's colleague, Neeley, said he knows why.

"Flint was traumatically impacted. This is an issue of trauma. And so any trauma patient that you have, you have to deal with the mental components of that. And they have not yet put any real resources to that," Neeley said.

Neeley said he talked to his fellow lawmakers about the issue and he wants them to listen.

"I would hope they would take the advice of others like myself, so we can move this community forward," Neeley said.

TV5 asked Snyder if he understands why Flint residents don't trust his message when it comes to their water.

"The water has been tested extensively. The results have all come back very positive in relationship to other communities around the country. The filters work. So I would encourage people to use the filters as we continue to replace the lead service lines," Snyder said.

Ananich said he has seen this movie before and it will take a lot more than reassurance from the governor for people to trust the water coming from their taps.

"You can't just flip a switch and say 'OK, we've solved your problem that they created.' This is a serious endeavor that's going to take a long time to build trust back," Ananich said.

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