Flint mayor cleared in charity investigation; ex-staffer's lawsuit to continue
FLINT, Mich. (WJBK) - Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has been cleared of any wrong doing after being accused of funneling donations to the city into her political pocketbook.
But an independent investigator says the so-called whistleblower got it wrong.
"I thought it was absolutely awful that some allegations would be made like that especially in a city that is in this type of crisis," Weaver said.
Calling the allegations of unethical conduct against her "disturbing," and "false," Weaver says she's relieved after the results of an independent investigation released Monday cleared her.
"I cannot find any evidence of unethical conduct by Mayor Karen Weaver,' said Brendon Basiga.
A lawsuit filed in February by former Flint city administrator Natasha Henderson says she was fired when she reported that Weaver had been redirecting charitable cash into a campaign account, called "Karen about Flint."
The lawsuit referenced a conversation with the mayor's assistant, Maxine Murray.
"Ms. Murray denied that they mayor had ever directed her to deposit the checks into a fund other than the one that had been previously approved," said Basiga.
Basiga said Murray claimed she placed the checks on her desk and simply forgot about them for a few months -stating the checks had never been cashed.
When asked how many checks there were and for how much, FOX 2 was only told one cashier's check was for about $4,000.
FOX 2 was denied a copy of that report.
The lawsuit also states that when alerting city officials about the situation, the very next day Henderson says she was punished by being wrongfully fired.
FOX 2: "Why was Henderson fired?"
Weaver: "You'll have to ask her."
Basiga says Henderson and her attorney Katherine Smith Kennedy were not cooperating with this investigation.
Kennedy said in a statement that's not true - "We are surprised that the city persisted with the internal investigation... Ms. Henderson was wrongfully terminated. Henderson is looking forward to sharing the evidence that supports her story and to having her day in court.”
Weaver insists Henderson was fired for knowing about the Legionnaires problem and not reporting it.