MI health director charged with involuntary manslaughter


Schuette's office also added manslaughter to charges faced by four people: MI department of environment regional supervisor Stephen Busch; state head of drinking water Liane Shekter-Smith; Howard Croft, a former director of public works for Flint; and the emergency manager who ordered the water switch, Darnell Earley. Lyon, the highest-ranking official to be charged thus far in the MI state attorney general's investigation, is accused of failing to alert the public about the outbreak and covering up the source of the problem.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette also charged four other public office officials, with manslaughter.

The other officials charged are former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley, former Flint water department manager Howard Croft, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's drinking water chief Liane Shekter-Smith and water supervisor Steven Busch. Lead levels in Flint's drinking water have now fallen below levels considered unsafe by federal regulators, state officials said last January.

Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells faces up to seven years in prison, on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to law enforcement.

Flood said during the press conference that while he hopes the charges help bring accountability, nothing will fix the damage caused by the negligence of government officials, reported the Washington Post.

Flint began using water from the Flint River in 2014 while under state emergency management, but did not treat it to reduce corrosion.

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"If they weren't passing along those assessments to the governor, that's a huge problem", said Eric Rothstein, a member of the Snyder-appointed Flint Water Advisory Task Force. Schuette said that the Flint water crisis exposed a "serious lack of confidence" in government leaders. Based on the CDC report, 99,000 residents of Flint were directly impacted when the water source was changed from Lake Huron.

The manslaughter charges are related to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, which was announced a year ago by Governor Rick Snyder with 87 cases of and 10 deaths.

A protester calling for clean water in Flint, Michigan.

Lyon was aware of the Legionnaires' outbreak in Genesee County at least one year before he informed the public, according to court documents. The disease, which is a form of pneumonia, spread after the city switched its water source. He's accused of failing to alert the public of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak.

While the investigation will certainly go on and there could be even more officials facing charges, it is the city's youngest residents - the children who now suffer from lead poisoning - who will feel the effects of this crisis for the rest of their lives.

"Involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office".