Dr. Eden Wells headed to trial on Flint water crisis charges

Eden Wells, represented by Steven Tramontin, remains the chief medical executive of the State of Michigan as her prelim exam continues.
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FLINT (WJRT) (12/7/2018) - Michigan's top medical executive is heading to trial on charges related to the Flint water crisis.

A Flint judge ruled Friday morning that there is enough evidence against her for the case to proceed to a jury trial. She is facing one involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of John Snyder who prosecutor's argued died of Legionnaire's disease.

Wells and other top-ranking state officials are accused of failing to provide a timely alert to the public about an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease in 2015.

The outbreak allegedly was caused by Flint's switch to drawing drinking water from the Flint River in 2014 and failing to treat it properly.

Wells is also charged with misconduct in office, obstruction of justice and lying to police. She has denied all allegations.

The preliminary hearing before Judge William Crawford began in November 2017 and included testimony from 18 witnesses, along with 85 exhibits.

Special Prosecutor Todd Flood, who works on behalf of the Michigan Attorney General's Office, alleges Wells withheld funding from the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership, among other claims.

He has said that Wells lied about when she learned of the Legionnaires' disease outbreak that occurred in 2014.

Wells' defense attorney Jerold Lax has said his client has been "selectively prosecuted." He believes Wells is innocent and shouldn't be held criminally responsible because she became Michigan's top doctor in March 2015, after the switch to Flint River water.

Wells is the second high-ranking Michigan Department of Health and Human Services official to stand trial on charges related to the water crisis. Department Director Nick Lyon was bound over to trial this fall, but he is appealing that decision.

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