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Judge delays ruling on whether or not MI health director will stand trial

Judge delays ruling on whether or not MI health director will stand trial
Posted at 1:52 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-25 15:34:29-04

A judge will wait nearly a month until deciding whether the Michigan health director will stand trial for his alleged role in the Flint water crisis.

After an hours-long hearing, Judge David Goggins said he won't make a ruling on Wednesday and instead scheduled another hearing for Aug. 20. That's after the Michigan primary on Aug. 7.

It's not clear if the judge will make a ruling on whether or not Nick Lyon will stand trial at the August hearing. He's charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of misconduct in office.

Lyon is accused of not alerting the public about a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Flint in 2014 and 2015. The outbreak is linked to 12 deaths in Genesee County during that time and 91 total cases.

While there has been no definitive link between Flint's contaminated water and Legionnaires' disease, researchers and experts believe that is the source of the disease.

During a hearing on Wednesday, Special Prosecutor Todd Flood, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill Schuette, argued that Lyon first had the Legionnaires' data in 2015 and had a chance to save lives, but instead tried to push it under the table.

Lyon's attorney, John Bursch, argued in court that the families in Flint and those who died deserve justice, but this would not be justice to try someone who isn't guilty.

"Two wrongs don't make a right," Bursch said in court. "It would be wrong to bind over Lyon with massive impact on his family, state government and public health."

Lyon was one of two department executives charged for their alleged role in the water crisis. Dr. Eden Wells, the chief medical executive for the MDHHS, is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a peace officer.