mcloudyn.png
Friday November 27th, 2020 11:37PM

Judge orders trial of Michigan official on Flint charges

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Monday ordered Michigan's state health director to stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of two men linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area.

Nick Lyon is accused of failing to issue a timely alert to the public about the outbreak. Judge David Goggins said deaths likely could have been prevented if the outbreak had been publicly known.

Some experts have blamed Legionnaires' on the scandal over Flint's water, which wasn't properly treated when it was drawn from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015.

Goggins found there's probable cause for a trial. The legal standard isn't as high as beyond a reasonable doubt.

The state says at least 90 cases of Legionnaires' occurred in Genesee County, including 12 deaths. Lyon denies wrongdoing. His lawyers say sending the case to trial will "dangerously chill" public employees.

The Legionnaires' investigation is part of a larger probe into how Flint's water system became poisoned when the city used Flint River water for 18 months. The water wasn't treated to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead leached from old pipes.

Lyon, director of the Health and Human Services Department, is the highest-ranking Michigan official charged in an investigation led by the attorney general's office.

An additional 14 current or former state and local officials have been charged with crimes, either related to Legionnaires' or lead in the water. Four agreed to misdemeanor plea deals; the other cases are moving slowly.

Legionella bacteria can emerge through misting and cooling systems, triggering a severe form of pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems. The state says there were 90 cases reported to Genesee County Health Department in 2014-15, including 12 deaths. More than half of the people had a common thread: They spent time at McLaren Hospital, which was on the Flint water system.

The outbreak was announced by Gov Rick Snyder and Lyon in January 2016, although Lyon concedes that he knew that cases were being reported a year earlier.

"He had the chance to save lives," special prosecutor Todd Flood told the court at a July 25 hearing.

But Lyon's attorneys have questioned the causes of death of two people cited by Flood. They also say there was much speculation about the cause and not enough solid information to share with the public.

"It is not enough for the prosecutor to wave his hands in the air and cry bad things happened to the people of Flint so someone must be held responsible," Lyon's lawyers said in a court filing.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Report: Experts knew Genoa bridge had weakened 20 percent
Experts determined last February that corrosion of the metal cables encased in pressed concrete had reduced by 20 percent the strength of the highway bridge that collapsed last week
4:11PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Racing stickers pour in for casket of Iowa boy with cancer
Racers and others have been answering the call from an 11-year-old Iowa boy who wants auto racing stickers to cover his casket after he dies from leukemia
4:05PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Wildfire smoke blots out mountains, skylines across US West
Smoke from wildfires has blotted out mountains and city skylines from Oregon to Colorado, delayed flights and forced authorities to tell even healthy adults in the Seattle area to stay indoors
4:01PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Flash flood hits hikers in gorge in southern Italy; 8 dead
Heavy rain flooded a gorge filled with hikers Monday in the southern region of Calabria, killing at least eight, Italy's civil protection agency said
3:24PM ( 57 minutes ago )
AP sources: Prosecutors preparing charges against Cohen
AP sources: Prosecutors preparing criminal charges against Michael Cohen
3:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
2 detained after shots are fired at US Embassy in Turkey
Two suspects have been detained after shots were fired from a moving car at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey, an attack that comes during heightened tensions between the two NATO allies
2:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Giuliani clarifies his 'truth isn't truth' puzzler
Trump's personal attorney says he wasn't trying to make an existential point about the meaning of veracity when he declared 'truth isn't truth'
12:14PM ( 4 hours ago )
No. 1 Alabama tops preseason Top 25; Clemson, Georgia next
Alabama will begin its quest for a repeat national championship ranked No. 1 ahead of Clemson, Georgia
12:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
Trump dares Brennan to sue because his clearance was revoked
President Donald Trump is daring former CIA Director John Brennan to take legal action to try to prevent him from stripping security clearances from other current and former officials
12:00PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Report: Experts knew Genoa bridge had weakened 20 percent
Experts determined last February that corrosion of the metal cables encased in pressed concrete had reduced by 20 percent the strength of the highway bridge that collapsed last week
4:11PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Racing stickers pour in for casket of Iowa boy with cancer
Racers and others have been answering the call from an 11-year-old Iowa boy who wants auto racing stickers to cover his casket after he dies from leukemia
4:05PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Wildfire smoke blots out mountains, skylines across US West
Smoke from wildfires has blotted out mountains and city skylines from Oregon to Colorado, delayed flights and forced authorities to tell even healthy adults in the Seattle area to stay indoors
4:01PM ( 21 minutes ago )
APNewsBreak: Utah firefighter died after fire retardant drop
APNewsBreak: Preliminary report says Utah firefighter battling California's largest-ever wildfire died from falling tree debris after retardant drop
3:42PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Retailers, airlines lift US stocks higher, extending gains
U.S. stocks are moving higher in late-afternoon trading, on course to extend the market's gains from last week
3:40PM ( 41 minutes ago )