(Reuters) - Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said he had "no reason to be concerned" he would be charged in connection with the Flint drinking water crisis that exposed city residents to high levels of lead, the Detroit Free Press reported on Thursday.
Snyder made the comments to the newspaper on Wednesday, the day after two Flint emergency managers appointed by the governor were indicted on felony charges of conspiring to violate safety rules.
"I have no reason to be concerned," Snyder was quoted as saying, while acknowledging he could not speak on behalf of state Attorney General Bill Schuette. Both Snyder and Schuette are Republicans.
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Snyder told the paper much of the $3.5 million in taxes he is using for his criminal defense was being spent to find and prepare records requested by Schuette and the U.S. Attorney's Office, which is also investigating the water scandal.
Schuette has filed 43 criminal charges against 13 current and former state and local officials, including the emergency managers this week.
Snyder's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the interview.
Flint has been at the center of a public health crisis since last year, when tests found high amounts of lead in blood samples taken from children in the poor, predominantly black city of about 100,000 residents.
Critics have called for charges to be brought against the governor, who has been in office since 2011, as well as other high-ranking state officials. Snyder has said he believes he did nothing criminally wrong.
Asked at a news conference on Tuesday whether the investigation would lead to charges against senior state officials, Schuette said no one was excluded from the probe.
Flint's water contamination was linked to a switch of its source to the Flint River from Lake Huron in April 2014, a change made in an attempt to cut costs, while the city was under state-run emergency management.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Lisa Von Ahn)