Concern over governor's refusal to oust DHHS director - WNEM TV 5

Concern over governor's refusal to oust DHHS director

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One of the state officials charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the Flint water crisis will remain on the job.

Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was charged with two felonies, one being involuntary manslaughter.

Despite the serious charges, Gov. Rick Snyder is standing behind Lyon. He said Lyon will remain on the job.

Lyon is accused of failing to alert the public about the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to a dozen deaths.

"I don't think that's fair," said Lakeshia Williams, Flint resident.

Williams said the two state employees recently charged in connection with the water crisis should lose their jobs.

Lyons and Eden Wells were both arraigned on June 15, 2017.

Snyder offered his support to the pair. Both will keep their positions with the state's DHHS.

That angers Williams, who believes she has been affected by the water crisis.

"My arm has a big rash as you can see and it was worse than this," Williams said.

Other Flint residents agree with Williams, saying the pair should at the very least be suspended while their case makes its way through the legal system.

TV5 asked Lyons and Wells' attorneys if they thought it was appropriate to keep their jobs at this time.

Lyons' attorney said no comment.

Wells' attorney Jerald Lax said she has a right to stay on the job.

"I can't speak for the decisions made by others as to her continuation in her work, but we think it's entirely appropriate that she continue to be able to carry out her public health job," Lax said.

As for Williams, she believes if it was her facing similar charges she would be looking for new work.

"If that was me I could be fired without pay. So for them to still get paid and do their job? No, I don't think it's feasible. I don't think that's right," Williams said.

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