Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration made thousands of emails related to the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water public and the results could be damning.

The emails reveal that government officials actively attempted to keep the city’s water condition a secret under the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), one that Gov. Snyder’s administration is exempt from. Officials finally brought this correspondence to light after response to calls from the public for information as to who knew about the crisis, when and what was done in response. This according to the Detroit Free Press.

“There’s a culture in state government that’s filtered down to employees that says, ‘That’s just FOIA; this is how you get around it,'” Jane Briggs-Bunting, president of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government, told the DFP.

Michigan’s FOIA law includes an exemption for records that are notes between and within government agencies that are advisory in nature. Notes that don’t deal with purely factual matters, and are preliminary to an agency’s final determination of a policy or action are also exempt.

Read more at Detroit Free Press.