Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Local | By Ada Griffith

Head of Michigan health department charged with manslaughter in Flint water crisis


The Detroit Free Press published a press release announcing the charges. According to the AP, special agent Jeff Seipenko said that Lyon's failure to act caused the death of at least one Flint resident-85-year-old Robert Skidmore.

There were almost 100 cases in the Flint area, including 12 deaths, in 2014 and 2015.

The attorney general's office alleges that Lyon was personally briefed on the situation in Genesee County, where figures showed the number of Legionnaire's cases was more than three times the annual average.

The outbreak was linked to Flint switching its water supply in April 2014 from the City of Detroit's system to the Flint River.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells will be charged with obstruction of justice, NPR reported.

According to NPR, a Legionnaires' disease outbreak spread in Flint following its switch in water source to the Flint river while under state emergency.

The crisis in Flint erupted in 2015 when tests found high amounts of lead in blood samples taken from children in the predominantly black city of about 100,000.

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In 2014, Flint began using water from the Flint River but didn't treat it.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expressing support for two high-ranking state officials who have been charged in the Flint water investigation. Twelve people died from the disease caused by inhaling mist from water that contains bacteria.

August 14: A federal emergency declaration over Flint's lead-tainted water crisis ends, but state officials say work continues to fix the drinking water system and provide services to city residents. Officials have admitted to not properly treating the water with appropriate corrosion measures, resulting in undrinkable lead-poisoned water.

Those charged with involuntary manslaughter are: Lyon, former emergency manager Darnell Earley, former City of Flint Water Department Manager Howard Croft, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smith and former DEQ District Supervisor Stephen Busch.

Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, also faces one count of misconduct in office.

Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette had stronger words for Lyon, however.

The state of MI was to set aside $97 million for lead or galvanized steel water lines to be replaced in the City of Flint according to the settlement.

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