Another state executive has been charged in the Flint, Mich., water contamination crisis, the Associated Press reports.
A special prosecutor on Monday brought charges of involuntary manslaughter against the state’s chief medical executive, Dr. Eden Wells.
The announcement was made by Todd Flood, the state’s attorney general, shortly before Wells’ hearing regarding other charges in connection with the water crisis, including obstruction of justice.
Flood reportedly announced an expansion of the case “based on a new review of other documents and testimony that came out last week” during Nick Lyon’s hearing. Lyon works with Wells as director of the Health and Human Services Department.
“We were told only this morning that Mr. Flood proposes to file two additional charges,” said Wells’ attorney, Jerold Lax. “And under the circumstances, we reluctantly agreed to an adjournment so as to be able to prepare.”
Wells is the sixth person, including Lyon, who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint, a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water. It infects the lungs.
Some experts have attributed the outbreak to Flint’s use of the Flint River as the city’s water supply.
Nearly 100 cases and 12 deaths were reported in the area as a result of Legionnaires’ disease.