By Brandon Hall
A Genesee County Circuit Court Judge has issued a secret court ruling barring the State of Michigan's DHHS employees from interacting with the Genesee County Health Department and a local Flint Hospital as the investigation into Flint's water crisis intensifies.
Gov. Snyder is appealing the ruling, saying “(w)hen it comes to alerting people to a potential public health threat, we cannot afford to wait.”
According to Chad Livengood of the Detroit News:
"Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration is challenging a circuit court judge’s order prohibiting state health workers from interacting with the Genesee County Health Department and a Flint hospital amid new cases of the deadly Legionnaires’ disease
Snyder on Tuesday directed the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to legally challenge a Genesee County judge’s order purportedly barring any interaction between the state and local officials related to Flint’s water crisis.
Snyder spokesman Ari Adler said a Genesee County judge issued what he described as a “confidential order” on Aug. 17 that is “prohibiting the department from fully exercising their responsibilities.”
Adler said the judge’s order remains sealed from the public but has constrained the state health department’s ability to respond to a new spate of cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which had a spike of 91 cases in 2014 and 2015 that resulted in 12 deaths.
Snyder has directed Department of Health and Human Services to work with the Attorney General’s Office, which represents the department, and challenge the judge’s order in the Michigan Court of Appeals.
“This needs to be sorted out in the courts, but I’m concerned about the time that can take,” Snyder said Tuesday in a statement. “When it comes to alerting people to a potential public health threat, we cannot afford to wait.”