While Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells has been charged with obstruction of justice, the agency's director and a group of others have been charged with manslaughter.
Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and others were charged with manslaughter for the death of a local resident, 85-year-old Robert Skidmore, who died after contracting Legionnaires' disease.
Special agent Jeff Seipenko said Wednesday, June 14, that DHHS Director Nick Lyon "took no action to alert the public" or Gov. Rick Snyder after he became aware of a rapid spike in Legionnaires' cases that coincided with the city's use of the Flint River as a water source starting in April 2014.
Along with Lyon, 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 and former district supervisor Stephen Busch were also charged Wednesday, June 14 with manslaughter in connection to Robert Skidmore's death.
Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells was charged with obstruction for allegedly "threatening to withhold funding for the Flint Area Community Health and Environmental Partnership if the partnership did not cease its investigation into the source of the Legionnaires' disease outbreak."
Those who knew about the outbreak did nothing about it, and those who were trying to do something about it were threatened with retaliation.
Amazingly, Governor Rick Snyder has released a statement praising Wells and Lyon for displaying 'strong leadership' and he has not asked either of them to resign.
Robert Skidmore was not the only local resident to die after contracting Legionnaires' disease, and it strikes me that lead poisoning is not mentioned in any of this. I suppose the legal battle and long-term consequences of lead poison will play out over many years.