Share this story...
Latest News

The Latest: Health official’s lawyers call charges baseless

Special Agent Jeff Seipenko walks out of the courtroom with signed paperwork in hand after Genesee District Judge David Guinn authorized charges Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Flint, Mich., for Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells in relation to the Flint water crisis. 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. Wells was charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on criminal charges filed in the Flint water investigation (all times local):

___

5:30 p.m.

Attorneys for Michigan’s health director say the involuntary manslaughter and other charges he faces that are tied to the Flint water crisis are baseless.

State Health Department Director Nick Lyon’s lawyers, Chip Chamberlain and Larry Willey, also say the facts of the case don’t support Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s claims.

Lyon was among five officials charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter as part of the investigation into Flint’s lead-contaminated water. They are blamed in the death of an 85-year-old man who had Legionnaires’ disease.

A sixth official was also charged, but not with manslaughter.

Lyon is accused of failing to alert the majority-black population about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which has been linked by some experts to poor water quality in 2014-15.

Lead leached into some Flint homes after officials tapped into the Flint River in 2014.

___

4:35 p.m.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says his investigators have tried to interview Gov. Rick Snyder about the Flint water crisis but have been unsuccessful.

Schuette made the disclosure during a news conference Wednesday to announce additional charges in the case, including involuntary manslaughter against Snyder’s director of the state health department. He didn’t elaborate.

Snyder’s attorney, Brian Lennon, says the governor is willing to be interviewed under oath if the attorney general’s office presents an “investigative subpoena.” He says the subpoena would ensure that Snyder’s information would remain confidential.

Lennon says there’s been no subpoena.

___

12:05 p.m.

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.

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.

___

11:15 a.m.

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

The charges are related to the death of an 85-year-old man who had Legionnaires’ disease. The five include Nick Lyon, head of the Michigan health department.

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.

___

9:10 a.m.

The head of the Michigan health department and the state’s chief medical officer are the latest to be charged in an investigation of Flint’s lead-contaminated water.

Dr. Eden Wells is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer. It isn’t immediately clear who will represent Wells and can speak on her behalf.

Nick Lyon, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes. He’s accused of failing to alert the public of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Flint didn’t treat its water to reduce corrosion in 2014-15, leading to the release of lead from old pipes.

Some experts have also linked the water to Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water and infect the lungs.

___

8:40 a.m.

The head of the Michigan health department has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.

Nick 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.

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. Lead from old plumbing leached into the water system.

Legionnaires’ is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water and infect the lungs.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.