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Key Flint water crisis figure expected to testify in criminal exams this week

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards is expected to testify this week during a pair of criminal hearings related to the Flint water crisis.

Marc Edwards’ research into Flint’s tainted tap water has been referenced several times during testimony in state Health department director Nick Lyon and Michigan Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells’ preliminary exams.

Now defense counsels for both state officials want him on the stand.

Edwards’ team discovered extraordinarily high lead levels in Flint’s tap water in 2015. His team of Virginia Tech researchers have conducted several additional rounds to track the levels of lead in the water.

Defense attorneys want to question Marc Edwards about research work by Wayne State University professors into a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak during the crisis. 

Prosecutors have called several members of the research team, who have testified that health department officials attempts to limit their work. The team recently released a study linking the 2014-2015 Legionnaires Disease outbreak to the Flint River. At the same time, the city of Flint’s drinking water source was switched to the Flint River.

Defense attorneys say Edwards has disagreed on some of the methods the researchers wanted to use.

Lyon, Wells and several other current and former government officials are facing involuntary manslaughter charges related to the Legionnaires outbreak.  

At least a dozen people died and dozens more were hospitalized during the outbreak. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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