Public health groups support Lyon against criminalizing public service

Four groups representing Michigan public health officials have filed motions with a Genessee County Circuit Court judge to allow them to file briefs in support of Nick Lyon, the former MDHHS Director facing manslaughter charges related to the Flint water crisis.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the Michigan Association for Local Public Health, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and the Michigan Associations of Health Plans filed the motions, demonstrating wide recognition of the dangerous precedent these proceedings set for public officials.

The ASTHO said it filed the motion “because a fundamental issue before the Court is whether ASTHO’s members – public health officials – should face criminal charges and trial for their professional decisions.”

Lyon is facing charges for deaths tied to a Legionnaires disease outbreak in Flint during the water crisis in 2014 and 2015. He is one of six former and current city and state employees who have been charged by Attorney General Dana Nessel in an act of political retribution.