June 29,. 2017
By Chad Livengood
Law firms (click here) have billed state government agencies $14 million for the criminal investigation and legal defense of state employees ensnared in the Flint water crisis — and the costs to taxpayers aren't expected to subside anytime soon.
A Crain's analysis of state agency expenditures found 31 individual law firms have joined the fray in defending 33 state officials ranging from Gov. Rick Snyder to low-level epidemiologists in the state health department.
State agencies have capacity in current contracts to spend at least another $6 million for private law firms defending employees, records show.
The law firm that's been paid the most to date is the one conducting a lengthy criminal investigation of how Flint's municipal water system became tainted with lead and may have been a breeding ground for a deadly bacterial outbreak.
Attorney General Bill Schuette's office has paid the Royal Oak-based Flood Law PLLC more than $4.2 million to date for a criminal investigation that has resulted in felony charges against 15 state and Flint officials, including new charges leveled last month against Michigan's top two public health officials....
What have the families been paid?