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Grand Rapids protesters call on Gov. Snyder to step down ahead of Congressional hearings

“Today we had 30 people out here and 10 caskets representing 10 people that have left this earth because of the decision to hook onto the sewer called the Flint River.”

That’s Jack Prince of Grand Rapids. He says it was Governor Rick Snyder’s insistence to put an Emergency Manager in charge of Flint that lead to it switching from the Detroit water system to water from the Flint River that caused pipes to leach lead into homes.

“And now that we have dead bodies and we have an entire city that has been neglected because of his desire to save a little money and privatize that system I believe all Michiganders should speak up for his removal.”

“Well, I want to fix it.”

After offering remarks at the grand opening of automotive and aerospace fabricator Hutchinson’s North American Innovation Center in Grand Rapids, the governor was not backing down.

“There were several people, particularly in the Department of Environmental Quality that were bureaucratic. They let us all down. There was failure at all levels of government at local, state and federal governments here.”

What did he know and when did he know it? The governor will travel to Washington D.C. testifying before the U.S. House Oversight and Governmental Reform committee. Although Snyder has not been subpoenaed to appear Thursday, he says he’ll explain the decisions made leading up to the Flint water crisis.

“I would expect it’ll be a challenging day. But again, they have their position, they have their perspective, they’re going to say their piece and I hope we can have a reasonable dialog about what happened and why?”

Snyder and legal counsel releasing emails in connection to Flint water decision making. Protestors outside are skeptical of the process.

“You know, you hear from Snyder transparency? He’s about as transparent as a brick wall. He hasn’t released anything barely nothing for emails.”

Again, Snyder will testify Thursday before the U.S. House Oversight and Governmental Reform committee

Patrick Center, WGVU News.   

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.