UPDATE (2:20 p.m.) – Gov. Rick Snyder is expressing support for two high-ranking state officials who have been charged in the Flint water investigation.
Snyder says Nick Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells are presumed innocent and “will remain on duty” at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Lyon, the head of the department, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 85-year-old man with Legionnaires’ disease. He’s accused of failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15.
Wells, Michigan’s chief medical officer, is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to an investigator.
Flint used the Flint River for 18 months. The water wasn’t properly treated, causing lead to leach from old pipes. Some experts have blamed the water for the Legionnaires’ outbreak.
FLINT, Mich. (AP) – The head of the Michigan health department has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.
Nick Lyon is accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which has been linked by some experts to poor water quality in 2014-15.
Dr. Eden Wells is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer. It isn’t immediately clear who will represent Wells and can speak on her behalf.
Charges were read Wednesday in a Flint court. Lyon is the highest-ranking official to be charged in the state attorney general’s investigation.
Flint began using water from the Flint River in 2014 but didn’t treat it to reduce corrosion. Lead from old plumbing leached into the water system.
Legionnaires’ is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water and infect the lungs.