Flint, Mich - A former Michigan health official testified Thursday that he started asking questions about bacteria in Flint’s water supply a year before the state publicly acknowledged an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.
Tim Becker, who was deputy director at the Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledged that the agency could have issued a public warning in January 2015.
But it was 12 more months before the department and Gov. Rick Snyder said something publicly.
Becker was the first witness at a key court hearing involving his former boss, department director Nick Lyon, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 85-year-old man and misconduct in office.
A judge must decide whether there’s enough evidence to send him to trial. Lyon’s attorneys call the charges “baseless.”
The attorney general’s office says a timely announcement about a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15 might have saved Robert Skidmore.
He died of congestive heart failure, six months after he was treated for Legionnaires’.