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(171,260 posts)
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:22 PM Jun 2017

Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Flint Are Just the Beginning [View all]


Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Flint Are Just the Beginning
There was the original crime, then the cover-up, then the passing of the buck.
By Charles P. Pierce
Jun 14, 2017

The people of Flint, Michigan, still can't drink the water there, or bathe in it safely. It's been three years now. However, on the legal side of the matter, shit's definitely getting real. Criminal responsibility for the ongoing debacle has reached into the cabinet of Governor Rick Snyder. From MLive:

Genesee District Judge David Guinn authorized charges Wednesday, June 14, for Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells. Lyon, appointed by Snyder to lead DHHS in April 2015, was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, a 15-year felony. He also faces a single count of misconduct in office. Wells, who has worked in public health in the state for more than a decade, faces charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer.

Fifteen potential years in the sneezer. That's serious time, and very conducive to deal-making.

Snyder appointed a task force to look into the Flint situation and that task force threw both Lyon and Wells under the entire train. Not that they'd covered themselves with glory or anything, but there plainly was some draping of the hindquarters going on, too.

A task force appointed by Snyder has said that Lyon was aware of suspicions that the Flint River was the source of a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Genesee County by January 2015, just eight months after it became the city's water source. Snyder has said he was not told of that suspected link until a full year later, allowing Flint emergency managers to continue using the river. Wells has said that DHHS missed opportunities to address Legionnaires' but did not attempt to withhold information. Wells was named by Snyder to be Flint's drinking water public health adviser after the governor acknowledged rising levels of lead and the potential connection between the use of the river and Legionnaires'. DHHS officials initially concluded that spikes in blood lead levels in children immediately after the city changed its water source to the Flint River were seasonal and not related to water.

I feel that what happened in Flint was nothing short of a crime wave. There was the original crime of poisoning the citizens of the city. Then there were the assorted crimes involved in covering that up. Then there were the assorted crimes involved in passing the buck. There are drug networks that have done less damage.
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