Michigan Health Director Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

Michigan Health Director Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

Michigan Health Director Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

The head of Michigan's health department has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint's crisis with lead-tainted water.

FLINT ― 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.

The criminal investigation into lead water contamination in Flint, Michigan, has resulted in charges against the highest officials yet in Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's administration. Officials haven't definitely linked the water switch to the disease, but Schuette and his investigators have come close to doing so in public statements and documents related to the criminal charges.

The others are people who were already facing charges.

For more than three years, Flint families have been told not to drink tap water without a filter.

What's Next for MI and the Flint Water Crisis?

December 29, 2015: Snyder accepts the resignation of Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant and apologizes for what occurred in Flint. Director Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells, like every other person who has been charged with a crime by Bill Schuette, are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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So far, 15 current or former state or City of Flint officials have been charged, including two emergency managers who were appointed by the governor and reported to the state treasurer.

"This is a case where there's been a wilful disregard of just using ordinary due diligence", said Todd Flood, special prosecutor for the office of the MI attorney general, which is leading the investigation.

Schuette believes Lyon's silence makes him culpable in the death of area resident Robert Skidmore, and the attorney general has charged the health director with involuntary manslaughter, a 15-year felony. 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.

Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette launched a probe of the water crisis in January 2016.

There's been a lot of debate about the source of the Legionnaires' outbreak in Genesee County during that time.

Lyon, who is the Michigan Department of Health and Services director, was charged this morning with two felonies by the Michigan attorney general's office.

Flint switched from Detroit's water system in 2014 to save money, but contaminated water from the Flint River caused lead from the city's water pipes to leach into the water supply. Many say that state officials, therefore, were responsible for the health and safety of the city.

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