Saturday, May 07, 2016

246.4 - A new definition of chutzpah

A new definition of chutzpah

Next up, just something I had to mention. If I had a Chutzpah Award, this would be a runaway winner.

For those of you who have lead a very sheltered life, "chutzpah" is Yiddish and it refers to having monumental gall. The classic illustration is that of someone who murders their parents and then pleads for mercy on the grounds that they are an orphan.

We now have a new illustration.

Darnell Earley was the Emergency Manager appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick SnidleyWhiplash to be the overlord of the city of Flint.

Darnell Earley
One of Earley's brilliant ideas was to save a few bucks by switching the city's water supply from the Detroit city water system to the Flint River.

Soon afterward, warnings appeared in the governor's office about the quality of that water supply. Despite that, it wasn't until another year had passed before the switch was made back to the Detroit supply, a year during which the city's 100,000 residents drank water contaminated with lead, a neurotoxin - and a year during which the Michigan state Department of Environmental Quality was deliberately kept in the dark about what was happening.

Earley is under criminal investigation for his role in all this. In late April, the Detroit Free Press uncovered the fact that his legal expenses were already $75,000 and climbing at the rate of $500 per billed hour.

So what did he do? He billed the city of Flint for the money, demanding the city cover his legal costs.

Hey, I poison you, I poison your kids, what could be more natural than you having to pay to try get me off? Yeah, it's natural - if you've got a hell of a lot of chutzpah.

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