Nick Lyon, the director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, has been charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of misconduct over his role in the Flint water crisis. He is the highest-ranking official yet to be charged in an ongoing criminal investigation.
The Associated Press reported that Lyon“is accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area.”
The water crisis in Flint has been going on since 2014, when the city switched its water supply. Studies have linked cases of Legionnaires in the city, which has killed at least 12 people, directly to the toxic water residents were drinking.
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Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells has also been charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer. This is in addition to 13 current or formal officials who have already been charged, although Lyon is the closest official to Governor Rick Snyder. Snyder remains uncharged.