Dr. Marc Edwards, as part of his work related to the Flint water crisis, submitted several FOIA requests to Wayne State University in 2017. The university chose to ignore FOIA law.
CASE UPDATE: Most of the requested documents were turned over and Wayne State paid nearly $6,000 in attorney fees.
Dr. Marc Edwards is a professor of environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and an expert on water treatment and corrosion. He became well known in Michigan for being one of the first to call attention to the problems with the Flint water system.
In June 2018, Dr. Edwards, with help from the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, launched a lawsuit against Wayne State University for deliberately ignoring multiple Freedom of Information Act requests. Edwards had submitted the first of several FOIA requests to Wayne State University in May 2017. The requests inquired about emails and presentations communicated by Wayne State employees who had received public grants and worked in Flint.
The requested information should be open and available to the public. The university is a government entity and the state of Michigan has contributed $3.35 million to Wayne State’s work in Flint. Wayne State employees are also key witnesses in the ongoing criminal trials of state officials regarding the Flint water crisis, which is also costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Michigan residents deserve full access to these public documents and transparency over how their tax dollars are being spent.