Officials of Flint, Michigan, including Director of Michigan Health and Human Services Nick Lyon, were convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter last Wednesday. In an investigation of Michigan's lead contaminated waters, all were charged for the death of several residents of Flint who were diagnosed to have Legionnaire's disease. The five officials were questioned on how Flint's water become contaminated after the city government started getting water from the Flint River.

Flint water problem led to man-made public health crisis

According to a report by ANC News, in an effort to save money, Flint government opted to draw water from the river instead of relying on water from Detroit.

The water source for the 100,000 residents was supposed to be momentary while the city raised funds to set up a new water system. Many residents complained about the taste and smell of the water and raised some health concerns. The government ignored the complaints and continued drawing water from the river.

Early in 2015, Flint received an offer from Detroit to reconnect its water system to the latter but the Flint officials refused and insisted that the water in the river was safe. According to ABC News, a group of doctors in Michigan protested on September 2015 and requested the Flint government to stop using the river after finding out that the water contains a high level of lead Those high levels were discovered in the blood of the residents in the area. Despite the protests, the officials ignored them and continue using the river as the source for the whole city.

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On September 29, 2016, Governor Rick Snyder promised to make an action as a solution to the alleged lead water problem. Later that year, the Michigan government and Snyder decided to switch back to its drinking water to Detroit and approved nearly $9.4 million for the matter. After proving to be at fault, Director of Department of Environmental Quality Dan Wyant tendered his resignation and apologized for what happened in Flint.

Officials were criminally charged with involuntary manslaughter

In January 2016, the Michigan health officials released a report to the public about an increase of Legionnaire's disease in Flint. The Snyder administration asked the assistance of President Obama for a declaration of a major disaster and asked for aid to help the city. The Obama administration provided federal help and declared a state of emergency. The declaration by the White House of the state of emergency opened to a new review of the Flint water issue.

Initially, two state officials and one local official were charged with evidence tampering and other crimes in the Flint case.

Later in December, Darnell Early and Gerald Ambrose were charged for their willful neglect of protecting the residents of Flint from health hazards from drinking water.

Head of Health Organization, Nick Lyon was also accused of failing to warn the public about the outbreak of Legionnaire's disease in Flint area. The five officials including Snyder's conviction of involuntary manslaughter carries up to 15 years in prison.