Snyder hires help to deal with news media on Flint water

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DETROIT, MI - MAY 21: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder speaks speaks to reporters after a luncheon May 21, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon announced during the luncheon that JP Morgan Chase will invest $100-million to help the city of Detroit with blight removal, urban development, home loans and retraining people in the work force. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder is hiring public relations specialists to help him deal with the Flint water crisis.

Snyder chief of staff Jarrod Agen says public money won’t be used. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press say the governor has hired the Mercury firm, where Agen’s wife is a senior vice president in the firm’s Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, office.

Bill Nowling is also on board. He was the spokesman for the emergency manager who guided Detroit through bankruptcy.

Snyder spokesman Dave Murray didn’t reveal how the new team will be paid.

Agen says the hires will allow state employees to focus on “helping the people of Flint.” Residents have been urged to use bottled water and to put filters on faucets to deal with drinking water contaminated by lead.

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