Nick Lyon, the head of the Michigan’s health department, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.
Flint began using water from the Flint River in 2014, but didn’t treat it to reduce corrosion. Lead from old plumbing leached into the water system.
Lyon is accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which has been linked by some experts to poor water quality in 2014-15. Legionnaires’ is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water and infect the lungs.
Charges were read Wednesday in a Flint court. Lyon is the highest-ranking official to be charged in the state attorney general’s investigation.