17 votes

Michigan official faces manslaughter trial over Flint deaths

5 comments

  1. [4]
    dubteedub (edited ) Link
    It is good to hear that some officials are actually being held accountable for the Flint crisis, but putting the blame on a single health director does not seem like justice when nearly 100 people...

    A judge on Monday ordered Michigan’s health director to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in two deaths linked to Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, the highest-ranking official to face criminal charges as a result of the city’s tainted water scandal.

    Nick Lyon is accused of failing to issue a timely alert about the outbreak. District Court Judge David Goggins said deaths likely could have been prevented if the outbreak had been publicly known. He said keeping the public in the dark was “corrupt.”

    It is good to hear that some officials are actually being held accountable for the Flint crisis, but putting the blame on a single health director does not seem like justice when nearly 100 people are now sick with legionnaires and 12 of them have already died.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      patience_limited Link Parent
      For various personal and professional reasons, I've had cause to follow the politics of Michigan public health. The catastrophes in Flint were caused by a long historical series of deliberate...

      For various personal and professional reasons, I've had cause to follow the politics of Michigan public health.

      The catastrophes in Flint were caused by a long historical series of deliberate political decisions aimed at cutting services to formerly pro-union, industrialized, predominantly black, Democratic-leaning cities.

      You can punish the foot soldiers, but the leadership, like Rick Scott (who's basically a sock puppet for the DeVos clan and the Mackinaw Institute crowd), are the ones who should be jailed for the number of deaths they've caused directly or indirectly.

      I'll provide references should anyone care to view the gory details.

      6 votes
      1. dubteedub Link Parent
        Yup, I fully agree with you. Nick Lyon is just the low-level scapegoat for this mess so that the Scott administration can point out that someone was responsible.

        Yup, I fully agree with you. Nick Lyon is just the low-level scapegoat for this mess so that the Scott administration can point out that someone was responsible.

        2 votes
  2. patience_limited (edited ) Link
    I'll keep this brief for now - there's a decent concise history of the water crisis here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353852/ That report also has some depth on the technical...

    I'll keep this brief for now - there's a decent concise history of the water crisis here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353852/

    That report also has some depth on the technical failures and timeline of who knew what, when. There's an extensive table of reference footnotes at the end if you want to dig deeper.

    Also: http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/07/10/flint-water-crisis-poisoned-city
    https://www.bridgemi.com/truth-squad-companion/disaster-day-day-detailed-flint-crisis-timeline

    After the state government took money away from the city of Flint ($5.5 billion in revenue sharing cuts between 1998 and 2016), it used the ensuing budget crisis to impose an emergency manager. The emergency manager appointed by the Governor decided to switch to Flint River water in 2013: https://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/michigan_truth_squad_who_appro.html

    The outline makes very clear that it was well known, for decades, that the Flint River was an unacceptable water source, and the Governor's office had direct knowledge there were potential problems before the Flint River changeover.

    The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality knew and issued violations for unsafe water quality, but there was zero enforcement and an active gaslighting campaign against residents.

    The Governor's office received independent warning about the Legionella outbreak and its likely connection to the Flint water supply in March of 2015: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/02/04/apnewsbreak-officials-warned-of-water-legionnaires-link/79828466/

    Hope this has been informative.

    3 votes