Karen Weaver, the Mayor of Flint, Michigan is accused of funneling money from the city’s water donations to fund a personal campaign.
In the suit filed Monday, fired administrator Natasha Henderson claims that in February 2016, Flint’s current mayor, Karen Weaver, directed a former city employee and a city volunteer to stop directing potential donors to a charity called Safe Water/Safe Homes. That charity was run by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and had been approved by the city for water-crisis donations.Instead, the lawsuit claims city employee Maxine Murray was directed by Weaver to begin directing donations to “Karenabout Flint.” According to the lawsuit, Murray came to Henderson “in tears” and in fear of “going to jail.”Weaver deferred response to the allegations to her legal counsel, but not without making a comment.“It saddens me that someone would attempt to taint me as Mayor of a city that is dealing with a major public health crisis, which has affected every man, woman and child in Flint,” she said. “I will continue to work hard to serve the people of Flint, seek support for our residents, and secure the necessary resources from generous donors from around our great nation to help the city and citizens I have been elected to serve.”
CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of “Karenabout Flint,” and it does not appear in any state tax registries. “Karen About Flint” was Weaver’s campaign slogan when she ran for mayor in 2015, and her Twitter handle is @karenaboutflint.Murray could not be reached for comment.
Henderson started working for the city in early 2015 and was an integral part of Flint’s crisis recovery, her attorney Katherine Smith Kennedy told CNN. She was brought on “to be part of the solution” and had been a key player in getting the state of Michigan to give the full $6 million needed for Flint to switch its water source back to Detroit water in October 2015, Kennedy said.Henderson pledged full support to Weaver when she worked for the city, Kennedy said.“It was not until this report that there was any discussion of her being fired,” Kennedy said. “My client was brought in to help the City of Flint. She did a very good job in that regard. She did the right thing here to report this red flag, and she was punished for it.”Henderson says she raised concerns to the city attorney and was promised “prompt action” and that “this was a very serious matter,” according to the lawsuit.On February 12, 2016, she says Weaver unilaterally fired her, even though her contract stated any termination required “mutual agreement between the Mayor and city council” or the receivership transition advisory board. The lawsuit claims Henderson was fired in retaliation for her voicing concerns.Henderson’s termination meeting was closed to the public, in violation of the state’s open meetings laws, the lawsuit alleges.
(Photo Source: AP)
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