According to court documents, Lyon was aware of the Legionnaires’ outbreak in early 2015 but “did not notify the public until a year later.”
The documents go on to describe how Lyon “willfully disregarded the deadly nature of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak,” later saying “[we] can’t save everyone,” and “everyone has to die of something.”
“We absolutely, vehemently dispute the charges. They are baseless,” said Lyon’s attorney, Chip Chamberlain. “We intend to provide a vigorous defense of Mr. Lyon. We expect the justice system to vindicate him entirely.”
Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has defended Lyon and Wells, saying they will remain employed at the health department.
“Nick Lyon has been a strong leader at the Department of Health and Human Services for the past several years and remains completely committed to Flint’s recovery,” Snyder said. “Director Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells, like every other person who has been charged with a crime by Bill Schuette, are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Some state employees were charged over a year ago and have been suspended from work since that time. They still have not had their day in court. That is not justice for Flint nor for those who have been charged.”
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