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Taxpayer-Funded Legal Bills For Gov. Snyder Mount: Flint Lawmaker Wants Practice Stopped

LANSING (WWJ) - As the cost of taxpayer-funded legal bills mount in connection with the Flint water crisis, one Lansing lawmaker is looking to limit such future spending.

State Democratic Senator Jim Ananich of Flint says he will be introducing legislation that would bar the governor and other state officials from using taxpayer money to hire private counsel.

"I'm hopeful that the investigation, whether it's the federal investigation or the attorney general local investigation - that it takes itself to wherever it needs to go - this never should have happened to us and a community like mine needs to see that people are held accountable - whatever that needs to be."

As for the ongoing criminal investigation into the crisis?

"This should go where ever the case takes it, and I don't think anyone should be off the table," said Ananich. "I think the citizens of Flint deserve that -- obviously accurate information, timely information and the help people need is still sort of sporadic and that's not acceptable."

Governor Snyder has hired two separate law firms to assist his office with litigation related to the Flint water crisis.

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker and Warner Norcross and Judd are the two law firms Snyder has put on retainer to privately defend him in connection with the Flint water crisis.

Contracts were recently amended by the governor to allow spending up to $3.4 million. Public money for the private attorneys assisting with investigations into the Flint water crisis.

Two weeks ago, Schuette spokeswoman Andrea Bitely spoke about the funding of the state's investigation into the Flint water crisis --telling WWJ that  $2 million is "a pretty reasonable cost." She says: "We're going to spend whatever it takes to get the truth and not one penny more."Meanwhile, House Democrats are blasting House Republicans at the state capital for shielding Gov. Snyder in connection with his role in the Flint water crisis.

While, Democratic House Leader Tim Greimel said, "Snyder is using state tax-payer dollars to pay a criminal defense attorney for himself and his administration in the Flint water tragedy. He's doing that based on the budget that House Republicans passed."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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