Michigan health chief charged in Flint water probe

15 June, 2017, 01:38 | Author: Joy Garcia

Michigan's attorney general announced Wednesday that the head of the state's health department and four others have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for their role in the years-long Flint water crisis.

"Multiple Flint-area residents died of Legionnaires' disease in the time immediately following the switch from Detroit Water and Sewer Department to the Flint River".

Michigan's attorney general is expected to file new criminal charges related to Flint's lead-tainted water crisis. Mr. Lyon and Dr. Wells are the highest ranking officials to be charged in the state attorney general's investigation into the crisis.

Schuette says he is not charging Snyder.

Five people have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in MI in an investigation of Flint's water crisis. State officials failed to require the addition of corrosion inhibitors to the water, and, as a result, lead leached from pipes into the city's drinking water.

Children have been exposed to lead. In a statement, Snyder said Lyon was "a strong leader" and added that he and Dr Wells were "instrumental in Flint's recovery".

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found blood samples showed children under the age of 6 were almost 50 percent more likely to have elevated levels of lead in their blood when the city used the Flint River for drinking water instead of the Detroit water system.

According to Lonnie Scott, executive director of advocacy group Progress Michigan, the new charges stemming from Schuette's investigation "show that the failure in Flint lies squarely at the feet of Governor Rick Snyder".

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In all, 15 people have been charged as a result of Schuette's ongoing investigation into the Flint water crisis.

After waiting three years for some semblance of justice, the victims in Flint, Michigan can celebrate a small measure today after a Michigan official was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the poisoning of an entire city.

"During the course of the investigation, Ms Wells withheld funding for programs created to help victims of the crisis and then lied to an investigator about a material fact", Schuette said. One of those deaths led to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, levied against Lyon June 13.

Lyon admitted last year to the MI legislature that he waited a year to alert Governor Rick Snyder of the outbreak, saying he wanted to let the state finish its probe into the outbreak first.

To date, 11 local and state officials have racked up more than 50 combined criminal charges.

In 2014, Flint's water source switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River.

Legionnaires' is a severe form of pneumonia caused by a bacterium known as legionella.

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