The highest ranking official in the Michigan health department has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the Flint water crisis. Nick Lyon is accused of not warning the public of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which resulted in at least one death, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Lyon’s charges signify the highest strike to Governor Rick Snyders administration. The state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells, was also charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer.
Jeff Seipenko, a member of the state attorney general’s team, read the charges in court before a judge while Lyon and Wells weren’t in attendance.
Seipenko states that the death of 85-year-old Robert Skidmore was a direct result of Lyon’s failure to act. Though some experts suspect that Skidmore was only one of 100 deaths connected to Legionnaires’ disease, which is a type of pneumonia that effects the lungs.
Despite the water crisis coming to a head in 2014-2015, everything following it has moved slowly. The pipes are still contaminated after being used to bring in water from the Flint River.