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Former MDHHS official testifies against Lyons during hearing

Delays in alerting the public about Legionnaires disease in Flint were at the center of a hearing in the case against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Nick Lyon Friday. (Photo Credit: Joel Feick) 

FLINT, Mich. --Delays in alerting the public about Legionnaires disease in Flint were at the center of a hearing in the case against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Nick Lyon Friday.

Lyon is charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office related to the Flint Water crisis.

The hearing is to determine whether there's enough evidence to proceed to trial.

The star witness was former MDHHS official Corinne Miller, who took a plea deal in exchange for her testimony.

Miller and the principal investigator in a study of the water crisis detailed how delays in telling the public happened.

Lyon found out about Flint's legionella problem in January of 2014.

Governor Snyder told the public about it 13 months later.

Both witnesses said the public should have been told sooner.


"It's a clear sign the increase in infectious disease,” said Miller.

"There's no plausible reason the public shouldn't have been alerted sooner,” said Dr. Zervos.

Lyon is being charged with the involuntary manslaughter of 85-year-old Robert Skidmore of Genesee Township.

Prosecutors say Legionnaires disease lead to his death.

What hasn’t been determined: whether Lyon’s delay in alerting the public, rises to the level of involuntary manslaughter.

That is certain to come up in the days ahead.


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