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More people in Flint raising concerns about water investigation court order

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A growing number of Flint officials are raising concerns about a court order blocking the state health department from talking directly with Genesee County health agencies.

The state health department is part of a criminal probe into the Flint water crisis. The court order is part of the investigation, with the intent of protecting potential evidence. 

However, the Snyder administration has complained the court order is preventing the health department from doing its job. A recent press release from the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced a seventh case of Legionnaires Disease has been confirmed in Genesee County. But citing the court order, MDHHS added it could not provide additional information.

Flint pediatrician Lawrence Reynolds says the court order is complicating the response to health issues in Genesee County. Reynolds is a member of the governor’s special Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee (FWICC). He was among several Flint residents who brought up their concerns during a FWICC meeting in Flint today. 

“If we have to check with an attorney before we take any step, in any process to solve this water and public health emergency, we will never get done,” says Reynolds. “This has paralyzed our ability to get work done.”

The Snyder administration has asked the state Court of Appeals to intervene.

“We do believe it’s holding us back from doing the role that could be played in terms of better clarity, better information and all levels of government working hard on public health together,” Gov. Snyder said after the FWICC meeting.

The Attorney General’s office supports the court order.

There's no word on when, or if, the Court of Appeals will intervene.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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