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Governor Whitmer’s consultant used Greek alphabet in ‘calculated’ effort to ‘conceal’ email: Lawsuit
Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

Governor Whitmer’s consultant used Greek alphabet in ‘calculated’ effort to ‘conceal’ email: Lawsuit

A consultant for Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer used the Greek alphabet to "conceal" a message in a "calculated" effort to hide the sensitive information from the public, a lawsuit obtained by the Washington Free Beacon revealed.

The lawsuit claimed that Andy Leavitt, a state energy department consultant, sent a coded email to one of Whitmer's advisers in September 2021. Leavitt's message reportedly addressed concerns about Michigan's water crisis.

The complaint alleged that the consultant's email was typed in the Greek alphabet in a purported effort to hide the sensitive information.

"The top of Leavitt's email contains three sentences rendered in Greek alphabet font (i.e., each English letter replaced with its Greek-alphabet counterpart), which appears to be calculated to conceal the statements," the lawsuit stated. "Decoding the text (i.e., by changing the font to a standard English font) reveals that the consultant prefaced his grave concerns about the water crises with a reference back to his prior warnings and the State and City Defendants' failure to learn from the Flint tragedy."

The coded message appeared to say, "Hot off the presses. As I warned there are some major red flags. It seems like we are back at square one having not learned from Flint," the lawsuit said.

Leavitt's correspondence with Whitmer's adviser, Kara Cook, concerned lead contamination in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The small town's residents sued Whitmer's administration in November 2021. They claimed the state showed "deliberate indifference" to solving their water crisis. Ultimately, the lawsuit resulted in the discovery of the coded email from Leavitt, which provided his initial thoughts on the town's lead contamination.

Because Leavitt used the Greek alphabet to type his message, the email correspondence would likely be excluded from a public records request because Michigan's public records department cannot electronically search for records with Greek letters, the Washington Free Beacon reported. For instance, a public records request seeking correspondence with the keyword "Flint" would not have pulled Leavitt's communication. Additionally, a search requesting keywords with Greek letters would have to be conducted manually, which would be very expensive and time-consuming.

A veteran public records researcher told the Washington Free Beacon that it does not surprise him that a government official would attempt to conceal sensitive information from the public by using a foreign alphabet but noted that he had never seen anyone do it before.

"Agencies play games to fight requests all the time. If they're doing it here, where else are they doing it?" the researcher asked.

Whitmer and Leavitt did not respond to a request for comment, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →