Health Department Chief Charged With Manslaughter Over Flint Water Crisis

Nick Lyon accused of failing to alert public

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

The head of Michigan's health department has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for his role in Flint's water crisis. According to CBS NewsNick Lyon was charged Wednesday. He is the highest-ranking official to be charged in the state's investigation of the city's water.

Lyon is accused of failing to alert people of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. The disease has been linked to the water quality in Flint in 2014 through 2015. According to the Chicago Tribune, at least one person, 85-year-old Robert Skidmore, is believed to have died due to Lyon's actions. 

In 2014, Flint began using water from the Flint River but didn't treat it. As such, lead from old pipes seeped into the water system and contaminated it. In 2014 and 2015, there have been almost 100 cases of people getting sick from the water, including 12 deaths.

Lyon was apparently told about the problem of Legionnaires's disease in January 2015 but didn't warn the public until almost a year later, per the state attorney general's office. He wanted to apparently wait until Health and Human Services finished its investigation.



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