Michigan health chief charged in Flint water probe

Frederick Owens
June 15, 2017

Some experts linked the outbreak to poor water quality during the height of water crisis in 2014-15.

The allegations against Lyon are tied to his involvement in the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in Flint. The head of the state health department, Nick Lyon, was charged on Wednesdaywith involuntary manslaughter for failing to warn the public about the legionella outbreak.

Skidmore was described as a "family man" with three sons, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Additionally, Lyon is believed to have taken steps to prevent scientists from properly studying the Legionnaire's outbreak, and he turned down the CDC when they offered assistance early on with identifying and dealing with the problem.

Then in July Schuette announced 18 more criminal charges against six then current and former employees at the DEQ and the Department of Health and Human Services. He is the highest-ranking official to be charged in the state attorney general's investigation.

The state's Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells was charged Wednesday with obstruction of justice and lying to police.

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Six officials were charged in all - five with involuntary manslaughter - according to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schutte. Nearly immediately, residents began complaining about the smell and the rashes it gave them from bathing in it. Doctors reported elevated lead levels in Flint children; lead poisoning can lead to a number of health problems, including learning disabilities. "That is not justice for Flint nor for those who have been charged".

Republican governor Rick Snyder has not been charged, despite the alleged involvement of his cabinet in suppressing information. Lyon is also accused of misconduct in office, for allegedly instructing an official to halt an analysis that would have helped to determine the cause of the outbreak. "They have my full faith and confidence, and will remain on duty at DHHS", according to Detroit Free Press.

December 29, 2015: Snyder accepts the resignation of Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant and apologizes for what occurred in Flint.

April 2014: In an effort to save money, Flint begins drawing water from the Flint River for its 100,000 residents, instead of relying on water from Detroit.

The state also agreed to cover the cost of replacing water lines - the pipes that connect household plumbing to the main distribution pipe running beneath the street - for at least 18,000 Flint households by 2020, which resulted from a lawsuit over lead-tainted water in the city. The Michigan attorney general's office has made it clear that they're still investigating the situation, and many more people could end up being charged.

The others are people who were already facing charges.

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