Health department legal tab in Flint water probe up to $304K

This Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 photo shows a sign on an archway at the edge of downtown Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan has spent at least $304,000 on lawyers who are representing 16 current or former health department workers under investigation in the Flint water crisis.

The Detroit Free Press says the department released the figures Friday, as of Sept 9. About $42,000 has been paid to a Grand Rapids firm representing Nick Lyon, director of the health department.

The attorney general’s office is investigating Flint’s lead-tainted water and a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area. Lyon knew about Legionnaires’ but waited months to tell Gov. Rick Snyder.

Larry Willey and Chip Chamberlain are representing Lyon. Willey says “lots of people” have lawyers but are never charged. Lyon won’t comment.

The governor says he continues to support Lyon as state health chief.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press