Five people, in Flint, Michigan have been charged with manslaughter in a case related to the Flint water crisis, including the state’s health director. The stories surrounding the Flint water crisis have been constantly developing since 2014, when high amounts of lead were detected in their water supply.
Nick Lyon is the Health and Human Services Department director in Michigan, along with four others, have been charged with manslaughter in the death of an 85 year-old man with Legionnaires’ disease. The accusation claims that Lyon did not inform the public of the Legionnaires’ outbreak in the city, which has a majority black-population.
Experts have linked the Legionnaires’ outbreak in Flint to the low quality water from 2014-2015. Nick Lyon was additionally charged with misconduct for allegedly obstructing researchers who were searching for evidence that linked the outbreak of the disease to the water crisis.
Nick Lyon and several other Michigan state officials have been charged in the death of Robert Skidmore, who died in 2015 from symptoms consistent with Legionnaires’ disease. Amongst Skidmore there were over 100 cases of possible Legionnaires’ disease, and 12 related deaths between 2014 and 2015. Lyon, who was personally briefed on the outbreak, “took no action to alert the public of a deadly” situation, to which he has publicly admitted.
Attorney General Bill Scheutte said, “The health crisis in Flint has created a trust crisis for Michigan government, exposing a serious lack of confidence in leaders who accept responsibility and solve problems.” The Michigan Civil Rights Commissions stated in February that the water crisis was a result of a history of “systemic racism” in Michigan.
It appears Schuette’s probe, which began in 2016, is doing exactly what is needed in Flint; restoring accountability.
Source: AP News