In all, almost 100,000 people were affected by the contaminated water and USA federal health officials found that young children in Flint had significantly higher levels of unsafe lead in their blood.
Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon knew that there was an outbreak of Legionnaires' in the Flint area by the end of January 2015 - but did not notify the public until a year later, according to the charging documents.
"This is huge", another Freep writer, Kathy Gray, tweets from Lansing.
Wells, Michigan's chief medical officer, is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to an investigator.
August 14: A federal emergency declaration over Flint's lead-tainted water crisis ends, but state officials say work continues to fix the drinking water system and provide services to city residents. Both charges are felonies.
The announcement of the new charges comes a day after Flint activists delivered over 1,000 water bottles to the office of Snyder, each filled with a letter from a Flint resident saying what he or she feels is owed by the governor as a result of the water crisis. Lyon is the highest-ranking official in Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration to be charged in the criminal investigation of Flint's lead contaminated water. The disease killed 12 people and sickened more than 70 in 2014 and 2015, according to MLive.
Some critics have called for high-ranking state officials, including Snyder, to be charged. Four other officials, including the former Flint emergency manager and former director of public works, were also charged with involuntary manslaughter.
An attorney for Lyon could not be reached for comment. That decision caused the harsh water to eat away at the pipes as it traveled to homes. Last April, Lyon testified that the spikes in lead detected in the Flint River in early 2015 were consistent with spikes seen in previous years and immediately concerning to the HHS.
In 2014, Flint began using water from the Flint River but didn't treat it.