Flint Mayor Karen Weaver flatly denied allegations Wednesday she redirected money meant for the victims of the city’s water crisis to her political action committee.
“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,” Weaver said about the allegations in a press statement to the Detroit News.
Natasha Henderson, Flint’s former city administrator, filed a lawsuit Monday claiming Weaver directed city employees to stop potential donations to a charity called Safe Water/Safe Homes in February. Weaver labeled these claims “outrageously false” in her press statement.
The Community Foundation of Greater Flint was specifically set up for the purpose of helping those affected by Flint’s poisoned water.
Weaver pushed back against Henderson’s claims, adding she fully intends to move forward and protect the people of Flint from lead-tainted water.
“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,” she added.
Henderson said a city employee was told to move the money away from the Flint charity and toward a group calling itself “KarenaboutFlint.” The employee was so shaken by the orders, the lawsuit claims, that she went to Henderson out of concern she would face jail time.
“Karen About Flint” was Weaver’s campaign slogan during her 2015 mayoral election. There aren’t any records that a political action group called “KarenaboutFlint” exists in Michigan, according to CNN.
Henderson claimed in the lawsuit that on Feb. 9 she asked the city’s attorney to investigate the employee’s claims. Three days after filing the report, Weaver terminated Henderson’s employment.
Weaver told Henderson that she was fired because Michigan authorities “indicated that the state of Michigan could no longer fund Ms. Henderson’s salary.”
Henderson said that is not true, as Flint paid her salary, not Michigan.
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