Michigan official charged in Flint water case faces key hearing

Nick Lyon accused of failing to alert the public on Legionnaires' outbreak

FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan official blamed for the death of a man who had Legionnaires' disease faces a key hearing to determine whether he will face trial for involuntary manslaughter.

Nick Lyon is head of the Department of Health and Human Services. He's accused of failing to alert the public in a timely manner about a Legionnaires' outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15.

Nick Lyon

Some experts have blamed the outbreak on Flint's failure to treat its water to reduce corrosion.

A judge must decide whether there's enough evidence to send Lyon to trial in the death of an 85-year-old man. The hearing starts Thursday but could last weeks.

Robert Skidmore was diagnosed with Legionnaires' six months before his death from congestive heart failure. Lyon's attorney notes Skidmore's home didn't use Flint water.

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Flint water crisis: Several officials charged

Lyon is one of several people charged with involuntary manslaughter as part of in an investigation into Flint's lead-contaminated water. 

Darnell Earley, who was Flint's emergency manager when the city used the river, Howard Croft, who ran Flint's public works department, Liane Shekter Smith and Stephen Busch all face involuntary manslaughter charges, too. Shekter Smith and Busch were state environmental regulators.

The state's chief medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to an investigator.

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