FLINT ― Six current and former MI and Flint officials were criminally charged on Wednesday for their roles in the city's water crisis that was linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that caused at least 12 deaths, the state's attorney general said.
"Today's announcement that additional state officials will face criminal charges is an indictment of the state's failed policies that led to this crisis", Congressman Dan Kildee, a Democrat of Flint Township, said in a statement.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expressing support for two high-ranking state officials who have been charged in the Flint water investigation. "That is not justice for Flint nor for those who have been charged". But the untreated water caused lead to be leached from pipes. They were previously charged with lesser offenses stemming from the water crisis.
"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. Although legionnaires' disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in wounds and in other parts of the body, including the heart.
Lyon was also charged with misconduct for allegedly obstructing university researchers who are studying if the surge in Legionnaire's cases was linked to the Flint River, the Associated Press reports.
"Lyon was aware of Genesee County's Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at least by January 28, 2015 and did not notify the public until a year later", Special Agent Jeff Seipenko alleged in the written charges.
- As charges against officials involved in the Flint water crisis steadily roll out, many continue to ask the same question.
In April 2014, Flint switched the source of its water from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the Flint River.
Schuette said his team had attempted to interview the governor, without success. Dr. Eden Wells is accused of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer. He also charges Earley, Ambrose and two Flint city employees with felony counts of false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses in the issuance of bonds to pay for a portion of the water project that led to the crisis.
To date, 11 local and state officials have racked up more than 50 combined criminal charges.