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Michigan: 5 Officials Charged with Manslaughter over Deaths from Flint Water Crisis

HeadlineJun 15, 2017

Back in the United States, in Michigan, five state and local officials have been charged with involuntary manslaughter over the deaths that resulted from the poisoning of the Flint water system. The highest-ranking official to face the felony charge, which carries up to 15 years in prison, is Nick Lyon, director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. He’s also charged with misconduct in office for trying to cover up the water poisoning rather than warn Flint residents about the deadly Legionnaires’ disease. A sixth official, Michigan chief medical executive Eden Wells, has been charged with obstruction of justice and lying to police. Flint’s water crisis has been linked to at least 12 deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, as well as the lead poisoning of residents, including children, across Flint. The crisis began when Flint’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, switched the source of the city’s drinking water in order to save money. Governor Snyder said Wednesday he supports Lyon and Wells and will not suspend them—even as many Flint residents are continuing to call for criminal charges to be brought against Governor Snyder himself.

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