Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon knew that there was an outbreak of Legionnaires' in the Flint area by the end of January 2015 - but did not notify the public until a year later, according to the charging documents. And 10 state officials - including two state-appointed emergency managers assigned to oversee Flint, a state epidemiologist and the former leader of the state municipal drinking water office - faced charges. State officials, including Lyon, have disputed the link between Legionnaires' Disease and lead-contaminated water. Lead levels have come down since the height of the crisis, but Flint residents are still advised not to drink from their taps without a filter.
Nick Lyon, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes. The outbreak, which began in 2014 and lasted until October 2015, ultimately killed 12 people.
In 2014, Flint began pumping water from the Flint River into the homes of Flint's almost 100,000 residents. Multiple news agencies this morning say Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will also charge the state's chief medical executive with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer.
Lennon issued a statement that said he made Snyder available for a spring interview with Schuette investigators after repeated assurances that an investigative subpoena would be issued.
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In response to the charges, Rep. Dan Kildee, who was born and raised in Flint and now represents the district that includes it, said he supports the investigation and its attempt to "hold everyone accountable who did this to Flint". According to the Chicago Tribune, at least one person, 85-year-old Robert Skidmore, is believed to have died due to Lyon's actions.
Some experts linked the outbreak to poor water quality during the height of water crisis in 2014-15.
Though nothing can be done to make up for the years of negligence and deliberate decisions to compromise the health and safety of thousands of innocent, low-income, minority individuals, Lyon's charges are a small step in the right direction.
April 20, 2016: Two state officials and a local official are charged with evidence tampering and other crimes in the mi attorney general's investigation - the first to be levied in the probe. The symptoms of lead poisoning in children are myriad and serious, including developmental delay, learning difficulties, and seizures. He previously was charged with felony false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, misconduct in office; and a misdemeanor charge of willful neglect of duty.