WUOMFM

eden wells

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The criminal prosecutions in the Flint Water crisis are just starting to make their way into the courts. This week, the state's medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells,  was supposed to begin a preliminary exam to determine if her case would go to trial, but prosecutors said they're adding charges including involuntary manslaughter. That pushed the exam back to next month. There are 13 defendants who have not pleaded guilty. Only one has actually begun an exam.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou asks senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry whether the trial process is moving too slowly. 

Judge's gavel
Pixabay.com

The criminal cases in the Flint water crisis are unfolding. State health director Nick Lyon had a hearing in court last week. The state’s chief medical officer Dr. Eden Wells had a hearing on Monday and she is now facing some new charges.

Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody has been covering the criminal prosecutions and was at that hearing. He spoke with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about the ongoing proceedings. (You can hear the conversation above.)

Dr. Eden Wells
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A top state official will face new charges in the Flint water crisis.

Dr. Eden Wells is Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive. She was already charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police office.

Special Counsel Todd Flood announced in court this morning that he plans to file involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office charges against Wells.

“Based on new review of other documents and testimony that came out last week, we believe that discovery put us in this place,” says Flood.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s top doctor, Eden Wells, will be in a Flint courtroom Monday.  The hearing will determine whether she'll go to trial on charges related to the Flint water crisis.

Dr. Wells is Chief Medical Executive in the state health department.

Wells is charged with “obstruction of justice” and “lying to an officer” in connection with a Legionnaires' disease outbreak during Flint’s tap water crisis.

Wells allegedly lied when she claimed she had no knowledge of the outbreak until September 2015, when she actually was aware of it six months earlier.

Todd Flood
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More charges may be coming in the Flint water investigation.

Special Counsel Todd Flood hinted at the possibility of new charges during a hearing for a defendant facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal Legionnaires' disease case.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Defense attorneys oppose a move by prosecutors to consolidate Flint water crisis criminal cases.

Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with “obstruction of justice” and “lying to an officer” in connection with a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak during Flint’s tap water crisis.  She made a brief appearance in court today in Flint.   

During the hearing, prosecutors raised the potential of consolidating all the ongoing criminal cases in the Flint water probe into one court. Currently, the 13 cases are spread among several different judges in 67th district court. 

exterior of the Michigan state capital
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

These are busy days in Lansing. Among other things, the legislature is working out the final details of the state budget before its summer recess. Last week, state Attorney General Bill Schuette charged a number of current and former officials with crimes related to the Flint water crisis.

A table filled with cups of Flint water
Flint Water Study / Facebook

Michigan's Attorney General made big headlines when he announced charges of involuntary manslaughter against Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, as well as four others.

Charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer were leveled at the state's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Health officials are concerned about a growing outbreak of Hepatitis-A in southeast Michigan.

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that attacks the liver.     It’s not usually fatal.  But two of the 107 patients recorded in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties since last August have died. 

“We do think that there are various pockets of this Hepatitis A,” says Dr. Eden Wells, the chief medical executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, “We’re not sure what’s driving it, but it is contagious.”

Veronica McNally's daughter Francesca was just 12 weeks old when started to show signs of whooping cough. Nine days later, she passed away.
Courtesy of Veronica McNally

Baby Francesca was just 12 weeks old when she came down with a cough. Nine days later, she died of pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

A Cuban worker fumigates an apartment in Havana
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

State health officials are warning Michiganders headed south on vacation this winter to be aware that Zika is still a major health threat.

The mosquito-borne virus can cause serious birth defects.  The Centers for Disease Control reports people have been infected in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, as well as the Caribbean and South America.

Dr. Eden Wells is Michigan’s chief medical executive. She’s concerned travelers may be less worried because Zika has not been in the news very much lately.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is getting a $500,000 grant from the state to develop a registry of Flint residents exposed to the city’s tainted drinking water.

The grant is coming from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's chief medical executive, says while children’s exposure to lead in the water is a primary concern, the registry will follow other health issues as well.

Centers for Disease Control

State health officials have asked for help from the Centers for Disease Control to investigate shigella outbreaks in Saginaw and Genesee Counties.

Shigella is a highly infectious bacteria that causes gastro-intestinal illness. 

According to Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, the State Epidemiologist made the request last Friday. The CDC investigative team arrived today to map the bacteria's spread, and to look into possible risk factors and causes.

Centers for Disease Control

An outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness  is easing in Genesee and Saginaw Counties.

Many of the dozens of cases of Shigella occurred in Flint, but peaked weeks ago.

Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.  More than a dozen people have been hospitalized, but there have been no fatalities.  

Dr. Eden Wells is the state’s chief medical executive. She says it’s not clear if people’s reluctance to use Flint water for basic hygiene is a factor.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Expanded Medicaid coverage starts in Flint today.

The expanded Medicaid coverage was approved in response to the Flint water crisis.

Medicaid will cover Flint residents up to 21 years old and pregnant women. 

Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, says they’ve been “waiting for this day for a long time.”

“This city’s residents have been exposed to lead in their water,” says Wells, “This requires long-term access to good, comprehensive primary and specialty healthcare.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are now confirming 12 people died in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released the updated numbers today. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State health officials have confirmed a tenth death connected to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The latest case involves a patient from Shiawassee County. The patient wasn’t counted originally as part of the outbreak, because health officials didn’t know the patient had spent time in a Genesee County hospital

Dr. Eden Wells is the Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service.   She says state health officials found the latest fatality during a review of all Legionella cases in Michigan in 2014 and 2015.