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MDHHS director returns to court this week

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio
Michigan Health and Human Services Dept. Director Nick Lyon

It’s back to court this week for state Health Department director Nick Lyon.

Lyon’s preliminary exam on an involuntary manslaughter charge is scheduled to resume on Wednesday.  

Last month, prosecution witnesses testified that Lyon was aware of the Legionnaires outbreak in Genesee County in January 2015. But the public was not informed until a year later. At least a dozen deaths have been linked to the outbreak from 2014 to 2015, with roughly half the deaths occurring after state health department officials became aware of the problem.

Witnesses also connected the Legionnaires outbreak to Flint’s ill-fated drinking water switch to the Flint River. One witness testified she thought connecting Flint’s water problems with the Legionnaires outbreak would be “embarrassing” to the governor.

15 current and former government officials have been charged criminally in connection to the Flint water crisis. 2 have reached plea deals with prosecutors in exchange for their cooperation.

Other defendants are scheduled for preliminary exams between now and January.

Depending on the outcome of those hearings, actual trials are expected to take place next year.    

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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