Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced Monday she will once again pursue a lawsuit against the State of Michigan over the water crisis.
It comes 10 days after the governor abruptly announced the state was shutting down the water distribution centers throughout the city.
Weaver said she met with Governor Rick Snyder for about 35 minutes this morning in Lansing to talk about the state's decision.
"If we have to take the state to court, then that's what we're going to do," Weaver said. "We'll sue them."
Immediately after the meeting with the governor, Weaver called a press conference to announce the city will be reviving a lawsuit against the state that was drafted back in 2016.
She said they didn't pursue the lawsuit in 2016 because the state made promises - like keeping the water PODs open indefinitely until all lead service lines were replaced.
Mayor Weaver said the state tried to end the PODs twice so far. Once back in Septemeber and again in January but she was able to get an extension while they tested schools.
Even though results are improving she says trust and finishing line replacement are still huge concerns.
"When we talked about the PODs, the governor said that we need to get over it," Weaver said. "He said the water is testing well and we need to move on."
In response, Mayor Weaver handed out a copy of their 2016 intention to file a suit that was set aside but brought back up after today's meeting with Gov. Snyder.
Weaver and her staff plan on meeting with city attorney Angela Wheeler to discuss every and all legal options the city of Flint has against the state.
"As a result of the state and their employees we're here and so these are things that we have to look at as far as their negligence and gross negligence," Wheeler said.
In the meantime, the city is depending on donations from churches and local businesses to continue bottled water service, something Mayor Weaver is thankful for.
"The people deserve to be comfortable and to have that kind of peace of mind and continue with bottled water and filtered water while we get through this process," Weaver said.
Weaver wants free water for Flint until all water lines are replaced at homes, a job that will last until 2020. She calls it a "moral issue" and is threatening to file a lawsuit. The mayor accused the governor of an "extra layer of callousness."
“We did not get very far into the conversation about the PODs because the governor basically said, ‘We need to get over it’, recalled Weaver. “He said the water is testing well, and we need to move on. I told him, we know how the water is testing, but we have not replaced all of the lead-tainted service lines and put in new pipes, and it is an issue of safety and an issue of public health and not putting public health over cost and profit. The other issue we have is that we are not satisfied with the testing in the schools. But, the biggest thing is trust. I said they gave us their word that they would see us through this lead and galvanized service line replacement, and we would have PODs stay open until then and they backed out on what they said.
I told him that this is a moral and an ethical issue and the people of Flint deserve to be comfortable and have peace of mind and continue to use bottled and filtered water while we get through this process. We also said that they could have handled the situation differently. Instead of shutting down all of the PODS, they could have closed some but left a couple open. They could have even reduced the amount of water people could get a day, but still allow them to continue receiving it and feel safe. But no, the governor didn’t want to hear it.”
Under a 2017 legal settlement, there's no dispute that Snyder can stop water distribution. A statement from his office about the meeting with Weaver didn't mention bottled water.
TV5 reached out to the governor's office for comment, but we're told that the office does not comment on pending litigation.
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