Former Flint EM Darnell Earley Speaks to the Black Press about the Flint Water Crisis

By Keith A. Owens
Michigan Chronicle Senior Editor 


Retiring DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley has been caught in the crosshairs of withering criticism for more than six months now, targeted by the media as well as a number of community activists and some politicians as well, for the damning role they all claim he played in the Flint water crisis when he served as emergency manager there. The Flint water crisis has developed into a nationwide story and even a potent campaign issue in the Democratic presidential primary. And as if that wasn’t enough, Earley has also simultaneously fended off equally harsh criticism that he, as Emergency Manager #4, is also guilty for being in charge of a Detroit school system that critics claim is anti-democratic during a time when the most glaring shortcomings of that deteriorating system – buckling floors, dead rodents in classrooms, and classrooms that are either freezing or overheated – have been put on wide display.

Throughout this ordeal, Earley has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, insisting that the choice to switch over to Flint water was the decision of the former Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz and the Flint City Council and that he only followed their lead when he signed off on the decision. But until now, the man who has been at the center of two of the worst disasters in Michigan’s recent history has not agreed to go on the record and give his full account of what happened. What follows is the unedited transcript of a series of written questions posed to Earley, each of which he answered in written detail after those questions were first reviewed and approved by his attorney.

Through the Michigan Chronicle, has an exclusive Q& A with Early. To read more, click here.