Hanna-Attisha to testify for defense in Flint case

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint whistle blower whose research helped expose the lead contamination crisis in the city’s water, is expected to testify for State Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells at Tuesday’s criminal exam covering the 2014-2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Hanna-Attisha found in August 2015 that the percentage of children with abnormally high levels more than doubled after the Flint River became Flint’s drinking water source in April 2014. A gubernatorial task force found that the failure to use corrosion control chemicals in the water resulted in lead leaching from aging pipes into the water supply.

Hanna-Attisha could not be reached for comment but a public relations specialist often in contact with the famed Flint pediatrician confirmed to The Detroit News Monday that she is expected to testify in the Wells case.

“I will confirm that she’s testifying tomorrow,” said Geri Kelley, a spokeswoman with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, who often works with pediatricians on various projects. “She was subpoenaed.”

Special Prosecutor Todd Flood had no comment on Monday. Wells attorney Steve Tramontin would not confirm or deny that Hanna-Attisha would testify and declined further comment.

Hanna-Attisha becomes the second high-profile Flint water and health expert expected to testify for either of the state’s highest ranking health officials being charged with involuntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice — Wells and state Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon.

Virginia Tech water expert and environmental engineer Marc Edwards testified for both Wells and Lyon in March.

Last month, Edwards, whose research team discovered extremely high lead levels in the water of some Flint residents in 2015, testified that the state medical executive helped him obtain hard-to-get emails from sent between state health agencies on the crisis.

Edwards told 67th District Court Judge William Crawford II in testimony that Wells “seemed very professional and wanted to get to the truth of the matter in a timely fashion.”


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