Researcher in 2015: ‘People will f-ing die’ without funding for Legionnaires study

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Director of Financial Operations Farah Hanley testifies in Genesee County court on April 26. (Photo Credit' Drew Moore/WSMH)

Hearings continued against Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon for his alleged actions during the Flint Water Crisis. Testifying in his defense was Health and Human Services Deputy Director of Financial Operations Farah Hanley.

Hanley says Lyon and, along with many others in the department, were working very hard to make sure any funding approved for Flint would be distributed.

Hanley also shed some light on a meeting which became heated in the fall in 2015.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Wayne State University’s request for approximately $11 Million to conduct a thorough investigation into the deadly legionnaires outbreak in in 2014 and 2015.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Paul Kilgore, two other researchers from the university, Nick Lyon, and Hanley. Hanley says the conversation over funding the research project reached a boiling point.

“Dr. Kilgore turned red and pounded his hand on the table and said, “People are going to F-ing die” if the research didn’t happen. It shocked me. I had never seen him like that before. I even moved closer to Nick because I was afraid he might come after the director,” Hanley says.

Wayne State was then initially approved for an $8 Million for the study.

But after further negotiations with the State of Michigan they only received approximately $3 Million for the project.

Lyon is expected to be back in court on May 7.

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