Michigan Health Chief Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter For Flint Water Crisis

Ebony Scott
June 15, 2017

But Lyon is the highest-ranking official to be charged.

Flint began using water from the Flint River in 2014 while under state emergency management, but did not treat it to reduce corrosion.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expressing support for two high-ranking state officials who have been charged in the Flint water investigation.

Also charged were the MDEQ's Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smitch and Water Supervisor Stephen Busch.

"It's good to see that state Attorney General Schuette and his team are taking this matter seriously", Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said in a statement.

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges this morning in Flint, along with charges against Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells.

Nick Lyon, director of Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct, both felonies.

The contamination, initially denied by state and local officials, poisoned thousands of children and caused the deaths of 12 people from Legionnaire's disease, authorities said.

All of the new charges relate to a Legionnaires' outbreak and the death of a single man - 85-year-old Robert Skidmore, one of at least a dozen fatalities tied to the outbreak.

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According to the charges, Lyon and the other officials knew that Flint's tainted water could have led to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, and waited a year before telling the public.

Six current and former MI and Flint officials were criminally charged on Wednesday for their roles in the city's water crisis that was linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that caused at least 12 deaths, the state's attorney general said. DNA to be taken upon arrest.

"As director of (DHHS), he has a duty to notify the public of any and all serious health concerns", the statement says. [750.505] FELONY: 5 Years and/or $10,000.00.

As the Chief Medical Executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Eden Wells has a responsibility to protect the health and welfare of Michigan residents. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission issued a report in February blaming "systemic racism" going back decades for the problems that caused the water crisis in Flint. [750.470C2C]. HIGH COURT MISDEMEANOR: 2 Years and/or $5,000.00.

Researchers from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Kettering University, Colorado State University also are participating in the study.

For Wayne State, the research project known as the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership continues amid the criminal charges.

Additionally, because the Flint River is warmer than the city's first source of water, the river served as an ideal incubator for the deadly bacteria.

As an appointed Emergency Manager for the City of Flint, Earley was tasked with ensuring the health and welfare of the City.

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