Michigan governor supports 2 charged in Flint water probe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Michigan governor supports 2 charged in Flint water probe

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(AP) -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expressing support for two high-ranking state officials who have been charged in the Flint water investigation.

Snyder says Nick Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells are presumed innocent and "will remain on duty" at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Lyon, the head of the department, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 85-year-old man with Legionnaires' disease. He's accused of failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires' outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15. Legionnaires' is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water and infect the lungs.

Wells, Michigan's chief medical officer, is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to an investigator.

Flint used the Flint River for 18 months. The water wasn't properly treated, causing lead to leach from old pipes. Some experts have blamed the water for the Legionnaires' outbreak.

Five people have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Michigan in an investigation of Flint's water crisis.

The others are people who were already facing charges in the state's investigation of how Flint's water system became poisoned with lead.

They are: Darnell Earley, who was Flint's emergency manager when the city used the Flint River; Howard Croft, who ran Flint's public works department; Liane Shekter Smith; and Stephen Busch. Shekter Smith and Busch were state environmental regulators.

Charges were read Wednesday in a Flint court. Lyon is the highest-ranking official to be charged in the state attorney general's investigation.

Flint began using water from the Flint River in 2014 but didn't treat it to reduce corrosion.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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