LANSING, Mich. – When her tenure as the state's top medical executive ends on Jan. 2, Dr. Eden Wells will get a new state job, one with civil service protections and a yearly salary of nearly $180,000.
Wells is currently facing a manslaughter charge in connection with an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Flint.
She has been on the state payroll while the charges against her have been proceeding through the legal system.
Her new civil service job, which had her advising on public health, came as a surprise to Gov. Snyder during a media roundtable in Lansing on Tuesday.
"I wasn't even aware of that in terms of her getting that position, but I'm supporting of Dr. Wells," Snyder said. "Dr. Wells has done a lot of great work."
Wells is well thought of in the administration and has won awards for her work in public health. There are many in Lansing who believe the charges against her were politically motivated.
Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette took a lot of heat from fellow Republicans for charging Wells. They believe it was gamesmanship. It's also one of the reasons Snyder refused to endorse Schuette during his campaign for governor.
Now, the prosecution of Wells is out of Schuette's hands. Incoming Attorney General Dana Nessel has not yet reviewed the state's case and Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer won't have an easy time removing someone who now holds a civil service position.