Former top Michigan health officials ask for new judge in Flint water cases

Former top Michigan health officials ask for new judge in Flint water cases

FLINT, MI — Two of former Gov. Rick Snyder’s top health officials are asking for a new judge to hear the involuntary manslaughter and other charges against them, alleged crimes tied to their roles in the Flint water crisis.

Former Michigan Department of Health and Huan Services Director Nick Lyon and former MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells filed the judge-swap request in a combined motion in Genesee County Circuit Court Tuesday, March 9.

The two are asking Chief Circuit Court Judge Duncan Beagle to reassign their cases from Judge Elizabeth Kelly to Judge Joseph Farah, whom both Lyon and Wells appeared before previously when their original water crisis cases were bound over in 2018.

Both the Lyon and Wells cases, along with six others, were later dismissed by the Michigan Department of Attorney General in 2019 following the election of Dana Nessel, but both were charged again in January after the investigation of Flint water crimes restarted under the leadership of Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Lyon, 52, faces nine counts of involuntary manslaughter, each count punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a count of willful neglect of duty. Wells, 58, is charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and or a $7,500 fine, as well as two counts of misconduct in office and one…

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