Monday, May 1, 2017

Schuette Prosecuting Emergency Managers For A Loan His Office Approved

By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At

(This story is a few months old, but I believe it has gone under the radar and deserves much more attention.)

A controversial loan now the subject of Attorney General Schuette's case against two former Flint Emergency Managers was once approved by Schuette's office...

>>>Meet Jeff Wright, The Man Who Poisoned Flint

According to Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press:

"Attorney General Bill Schuette's office signed off on an environmental order that is central to new criminal charges Schuette filed last week in his Flint drinking water investigation, records show.
In bringing charges on Dec. 20 against two former emergency managers and two former City of Flint public works officials, Schuette and his investigators said a March 2014 administrative consent order issued by the Department of Environmental Quality never should have been issued, because it was based on a "sham" environmental calamity manufactured in part by former Flint emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose  and former city officials Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson.
All four defendants face 20-year felonies for conspiracy and false pretenses and have entered not guilty pleas.
One of the three signatures on the administrative consent order (ACO), which the Free Press first scrutinized in a May article, is that of Assistant Attorney General Robert Reichel of the AG's environment, natural resources and agriculture division.
Signing on behalf of Schuette, Reichel approved the order "as to form."
Schuette alleges that Flint, which was under a state-appointed emergency manager at the time, was unable to borrow its share of the money to participate in the $285-million Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline to Lake Huron. The project was being pushed by Genesee County and Flint wanted to leave the Detroit system, which had been supplying it with treated Lake Huron water from Lake Huron, in favor of the new pipeline, which would provide the city with untreated Lake Huron water. By using an ordered environmental cleanup at a sludge lagoon used by the Flint Water Treatment Plant and tying that project to the KWA development, officials were able to use the administrative consent order to keep the KWA debt from counting against Flint's almost non-existent borrowing capacity. Schuette alleges the "sham" administrative consent order, which one of his assistants signed off on, also had the effect of forcing Flint to get its drinking water from the Flint River — with disastrous results — until the KWA project was completed.

Andrea Bitely, a spokeswoman for Schuette, said the AG was aware of the sign-off from his office when he brought the charges, and suggested Reichel may have signed it based on false information provided by another state agency, the DEQ."
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

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