FLINT, Mich. (WLNS) – The Flint Water Crisis has led to more criminal charges and they now reach high levels of state government.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette outlined the charges during a news conference in Flint today.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter which is a conviction that carries up to 15 years in prison along with a $7,500 fine.
But that’s not the only charge Schuette brought against Lyon or other health officials.
“The health crisis in Flint has created a trust crisis in Michigan government,” said Schuette.
Schuette announced charges against a total of six people in Flint today…among those charged is Lyon who is facing two felonies.
“Involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office. Mr. Lyon failed in his responsibilities to protect the health and safety of citizens of Flint,” Schuette stated.
“We fully have faith in our justice system in this state and we expect Nick to be vindicated entirely of these baseless charges,” said Chip Chamberlain; Lyon’s attorney.
Lyon isn’t the only one facing involuntary manslaughter charges…former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former City of Flint Water Department Manager Howard Croft, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smith, as well as Water Supervisor Stephen Busch who were previously charged in this investigation are now also facing involuntary manslaughter.
“I’ll fight to make sure the citizens of Flint get justice…I think this is a step in the long journey we’ve had towards getting justice,” State Senator Jim Ananich stated.
Michigan Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells is also facing two charges…lying to a peace officer and obstruction of justice.
“We believe that these charges and allegations will be held up in the courts,” said Schuette.
As far as if Governor Rick Snyder will be charged in relation to the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint…
“We only file criminal charges when evidence of probable cause to commit a crime has been established and we’re not filing charges at this time,” Schuette stated.
Governor Snyder responded to the charges that were filed today on social media. He said:
“Nick Lyon and Dr. Wells have been and continue to be fully committed to Flint’s recovery. They have my full faith and confidence and will remain on duty at DHHS,” said Governor Rick Snyder.
This is an ongoing investigation but we will be sure to keep you updated on what develops.