Water activists react to new charges in Flint water crisis

LeeAnne Walters speaks with Anchor Sadie Hughes after new charges come down in the Flint Water crisis. (Brandon Palevich/WEYI&WSMH)

On Thursday, June 15 the state's top health official is expected to be arraigned on involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the Flint water crisis. Nick Lyon is the head of the Michigan Health Department.

He is one of five people now facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection to the death of an 85-year-old man who had Legionnaires disease.

The others are Darnell Earley, Flint's former Emergency Manager when the city used the Flint River. Howard Croft ran Flint's Public Works Department. Liane Shekter Smith and Stephen Busch were state environmental regulators.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells has also been charged with lying to a peace officer and obstruction of justice related to an alleged attempt to stop an investigation into the health crisis in Flint and later misleading investigators.

Local activist Melissa Mays said she and Wells had many tense interactions about the safety of the water. Mays added she is not surprised Dr. Wells is now facing charges.

"I went back and forth with her last year about the safety of bathing and it was not very polite, because she was talking about how safe, it's perfectly fine to bathe, but yet they have not done no testing on showering and bathing water. And then you look that's most likely how these people contracted Legionnaires, was in the shower. So her lying to investigators shows, that again, she was more concerned about covering herself than the people of Flint," Mays said.

Leeanne Walters an activist who brought in Professor Marc Edwards who helped uncover the water crisis also weighed in on Wednesday’s developments.

"I'm very pleased so far with the progress that we've had. And I know people are frustrated because everyone wants Governor Snyder arrested, but we have to get there. You know, we're climbing a ladder here," Walters said.

Both Mays and Walters are mothers who have spoken out about the negative effects they say lead in Flint's water has had on their children.

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