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Testimony throws Legionnaires timeline into question

Michigan Municipal League

Governor Rick Snyder may have known about an increase in Legionnaires disease in Flint a month earlier than previously stated, according to new testimony.

The testimony came from Harvey Hollins III, speaking at a preliminary examination of the case against Nick Lyon, the Director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services and the highest ranking government official facing charges related to the Flint water crisis.

At a U.S. House Committee hearing in March of this year Governor Snyder testified that he didn’t know about the uptick in legionnaires until January.

“In terms of legionnaires, I didn’t learn of that until 2016. As soon as I became aware of it we held a press conference the next day. That was clearly a case where the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services should have done more to escalate the issue to the public and to me.”

When Congressman Tim Walberg pressed Governor Snyder and pointed to emails from March of 2015 showing Harvey Hollins III knew about the increase in legionnaires Snyder again denied knowing about it.

Tim: “The information was in the highest levels of your executive office ten months before you knew. Did you speak with them about it?’

Rick: “No. I don’t recall any mention of that to me. I don’t recall seeing those emails or being part of any of those discussions.”

But during his testimony last week Hollins said that he spoke to the Governor in December of 2015 about the increase in legionnaires.

Officials with the Governor’s office said they couldn’t comment on the investigation or judicial proceeding.