Lawsuit Accuses Flint Mayor of Trying to Redirect Water Crisis Donors to Campaign Fund

Eric M. Johnson and Peter Cooney, Reuters, May 9, 2016

A former administrator in Flint, Michigan, charged in a federal lawsuit on Monday that she was fired for seeking a probe into allegations the mayor tried to redirect donations to her personal campaign fund from a charity meant to help families hurt by the city’s water crisis.

The wrongful termination lawsuit filed in federal court in Detroit said former City Administrator Natasha Henderson was fired in violation of whistle-blower and free-speech protections under Michigan law and the U.S. Constitution.

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It is not clear whether any money was actually directed to the mayor’s fund instead of the foundation, said Katherine Smith Kennedy, an attorney for Henderson.

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Henderson’s lawsuit alleged that Mayor Karen Weaver ordered her assistant and a volunteer to redirect donors from a local fund set up to help families affected by the water crisis to her political action committee instead.

The lawsuit charged that the city employee was “specifically directed” to instruct people “step-by-step” to donate to the mayor’s “Karenabout Flint” fund through its website, rather than the Charity Safe Water/Safe Homes fund through the city’s website.

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Mayor Karen Weaver

Mayor Karen Weaver

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