Send Darnell Earley’s $361k Lawyer Bill to Gov. Rick Snyder [OPINION]
Former Flint Emergency Financial Manager Darnell Earley is facing a number of charges for his role in the Flint water crisis, and now his lawyers are trying to stick us with the tab? Nah, son.
Darnell Earley straight up sucked as an EFM. As a city, we've elected more than our share of people to local government positions who were terrible at their job (see last Tuesday's first ward election results for example), but you can't put Darnell Earley on us. He's Rick Snyder's boy. He was appointed by Snyder, and given absolute power over every decision made for Flint during his tenure. By the way, guess what happened during his time as EFM. I'll even give you a hint -- it rhymes with "mint daughter rices."
Earley is being charged with false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, misconduct in office, willful neglect of duty, and possibly manslaughter for his role in the Flint water crisis. Everyone remembers Mayor Dayne Walling pushing the button that switched our water source to the Flint River. Hell, he even lost an election over it. What most people ignored was that Dayne wasn't allowed to make decisions for the city, and hadn't been for a while. That ceremony was a ribbon-cutting, nothing more.
The switch to the Flint River was either Earley's doing, or a that of an EFM prior to Earley. Regardless of who made the final call -- Earley played a large role in making sure it happened. He even refused a generous offer from Detroit that would've put a temporary agreement in place and avoided the entire crisis, by the way. There were multiple failures at multiple levels that led to the Flint water crisis, but you could easily and effectively support the argument that Earley started that domino effect.
According to MLive, the City of Flint just received a bill for Earley's Washington D.C.-based defense lawyers to the tune of $361,000. You add that to his previous tab and it's nearly half a million dollars of our tax money that will be spent on Earley's defense.
My question is why do we have to fit the bill for this jackass that was forced upon us? This guy was a reckless, penny pincher who repeatedly made decisions that were harmful to the city, like cutting 36 police and 19 firemen in one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Earley was appointed by the governor, not us. So send that bill directly to Rick Snyder, and have him fit the bill with his own money. While you're at it, make him pay his own legal fees too.
I guess the jackasses that elected (and re-elected) Snyder enabled him to continue installing dictators... sorry, "EFMs" that basically overthrow locally-elected governments. After all, he did reinstate a similar version of the EFM law less than two months after Michigan voted to repeal the previous one. This law is Snyder's legacy. He forced it on us, so why do we have to pay to defend its massive failures? Hasn't Flint already paid enough for the failures of Snyder and Earley?