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FLINT WATER CRISIS: Health chief charged with involuntary manslaughter

Published: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 12:52 PM
By: Kara Driscoll - Staff Writer

The chief official of the Michigan health department was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Flint water crisis probe.

Nick Lyon is accused of failing to tell the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which has been linked by some experts to poor water quality in 2014 to 2015. Lyon is the highest-ranking official in Rick Snyder’s administration be charged in the criminal investigation of Flint’s lead contaminated water.

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According to a report from CBS News, Lyon’s failure to act resulted in the death of at least one person, 85-year-old Robert Skidmore, special agent Jeff Seipenko told a judge. Flint started using water from the Flint River in 2014 but didn’t treat it with a corrosion control program. Lead from old plumbing leached into the water system, the report found.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found blood samples showed children under the age of than 6 were nearly 50 percent more likely to have elevated blood lead levels when the city used the Flint River for drinking water instead of the Detroit water system.

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“This crisis was entirely preventable, and a startling reminder of the critical need to eliminate all sources of lead from our children’s environment,” Patrick Breysse, director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, said at the time.

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