Med­i­cal of­fi­cial faces trial in Flint cri­sis

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - National -

LANS­ING, Mich. — Michi­gan’s chief med­i­cal ex­ec­u­tive will stand trial on in­vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter and other charges in a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion over the Flint wa­ter cri­sis, a judge ruled Fri­day, mak­ing Dr. Eden Wells the sec­ond mem­ber of Gov. Rick Sny­der’s Cab­i­net to go be­fore a jury.

Wells is among six cur­rent or for­mer gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials fac­ing in­vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter charges in con­nec­tion to an out­break of Le­gion­naires’ dis­ease in the Flint area in 2014 and 2015. Wells is now the sec­ond high-rank­ing state of­fi­cial, along with Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Nick Lyon, to be or­dered to trial.

Wells, who like Lyon is ac­cused of fail­ing to alert the pub­lic of the spike in Le­gion­naires’ cases in a timely man­ner and caus­ing the death of 85-year-old John Sny­der, learned of the trial de­ci­sion from Judge Wil­liam Craw­ford II in­side a Flint court­room. The 55-year-old from Ann Ar­bor also faces charges of ob­struct­ing jus­tice, ly­ing to an in­ves­ti­ga­tor and com­mit­ting mis­con­duct in of­fice.

She de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

“Dr. Wells is not guilty of these man­u­fac­tured crimes and we will con­tinue to fight as long as it takes to achieve a just re­sult,” said Steven Tra­mon­tin, one of her at­tor­neys.

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