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Michigan health director charged with involuntary manslaughter in tainted Flint water

Staff Writer |
The Michigan Attorney General has charged the state's health director with involuntary manslaughter in the lead poisoning of Flint's water supply.

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Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon also faces another felony count: misconduct in office, according to court documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press that Attorney General Bill Schuette filed Tuesday.

Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells was also charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer.

Judge G. David Guinn, in Michigan's 67th District Court, authorized the charges Wednesday morning in Flint.

The officials' actions are linked to the lead poisoning of children in Flint and 12 deaths after the city's water supply was switched in April 2014 from treated Lake Huron water to raw water from the Flint River, treated at the Flint Water Treatment Plant.

The New York Times reported 13 people face charges related to the crisis, but those counts are limited to misconduct in office and conspiracy to commit false pretenses.

Three of the those charged were Flint officials, including a former director of the city's Public Works Department and a former utilities director. The 10 state officials include two state-appointed emergency managers assigned to oversee Flint, a state epidemiologist and the former leader of the state municipal drinking water office.

Lyon could face 15 years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

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