State's chief medical executive appears in court for role in wat - WNEM TV 5

State's chief medical executive appears in court for role in water crisis

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Source: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Source: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

The state's chief medical executive appeared in court on Tuesday on criminal charges related to her role in the Flint water crisis.

Dr. Eden Wells is charged with obstruction of justice, among other crimes, stemming from an investigation of Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area in 2014 and 2015.

She faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Wells sat quietly in court as she was ordered not to contact any of the witnesses in the case. The witnesses are expected to testify that Wells knew about the Legionnaires' disease long before she informed the public.

According to court documents, six months into the water crisis Genesee County recorded a record of 30 cases of Legionnaires' disease.

Five months later, a witness told Wells about the outbreak. Two months after that Wells became the state's chief medical executive.

Investigators said it took another seven months for Wells to inform the public.

The 54-year-old doctor from Ann Arbor faces even more shocking allegations. She is also accused of threatening to cut funding to a team of independent researchers investigating the water crisis in 2016 unless they stopped looking into the source of the Legionnaires' outbreak.

Investigators said Wells lied to them about when she learned about the Legionnaires' outbreak, saying she learned six to seven months after a witness said they informed her.

On Tuesday a judge approved for Wells to travel to Mississippi and Maine this month where she has relatives.

A preliminary examination of the case against her is scheduled for early October.

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