Michigan's chief medical executive Dr. Eden Wells, who was accused of involuntary manslaughter, was recently hired to a new civil service position.
Dr. Wells, who is slated to face a jury trial after numerous Flint residents died from Legionnaires' disease between 2014 and 2016, will serve as the state's new advisory physician. Her role will commence upon the tenure in her current role coming to an end on January 2. Compared to her current position, the new job protects the doctor from termination, since investigations against civil servant workers usually take weeks.
The Detroit News reports that she will now be paid $179,672 a year which is very close to her former salary of $184,000.
The outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the city killed up to 12 people and sickened nearly 79 others.
According to ABC 12, 67th District Court Judge William Crawford II, who delivered the ruling, cited Wells should have acted to warn the public about the spread of the disease upon learning of its rise.
"Based on her qualifications, training, knowledge and experience, there is evidence to support that the defendant was uniquely and exceptionally qualified to know that failure to act would be accompanied by high risk of disastrous results," Crawford said.
The new advisor was appointed in May 2015 by Governor Rick Snyder as the chief medical executive. She also faces charges of obstructing justice and lying to a police officer.
Snyder is serving his final days in office and will be succeeded by Michigan Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer on January 1, who will be able to appoint a medical executive. While Snyder did not appoint Wells to her new role, he said he supports her and believes she's done "great work."
Governor Rick Snyder speaking out after Dr. Eden Wells was hired as a state public health adviser, despite standing trial for her role in the Flint water crisis. Read More: https://t.co/Pr2WlV19jx
— NBC25 / FOX66 News (@nbc25fox66) December 11, 2018
"I wasn't even aware of that in terms of her getting that position, but I'm supporting of Dr. Wells," Snyder said in a clip shared via Twitter by Fox 66 News. "Dr. Wells has done a lot of great work."
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