(L-R) Assistant HHS Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nicole Lurie, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Keith Creagh testify during a hearing before the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee and Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee April 13, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The subcommittees held a hearing on "Flint Water Crisis: Impacts and Lessons Learned." Alex Wong—Getty Images
8:57 AM ET
(FLINT, Mich.) — The head of the Michigan health department has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint's lead-tainted water crisis.
Nick Lyon is accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area, which has been linked by some experts to poor water quality in 2014-15.
Charges were read Wednesday in a Flint court. Lyon is the highest-ranking official to be charged in the state attorney general's investigation.
Flint began using water from the Flint River in 2014 but didn't treat it to reduce corrosion. Lead from old plumbing leached into the water system.
Legionnaires' is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water and infect the lungs.