Today in a district court in Michigan, ex-Flint City Administrator Natasha Henderson alleged that she was fired from her position after reporting that Flint Mayor Karen Weaver had directed underlings to divert money intended for a clean water charity to her personal campaign PAC.
According to the suit, Henderson was approached on Feb. 9 by an assistant of Weaver’s, who said the mayor had instructed her to re-route donations meant to support victims of Flint’s poisoned water system. Henderson says that the employee, Maxine Murray, expressed concern over being legally culpable for diverting the money. Henderson’s complaint reads:
Further, Henderson alleges that Murray told her that Weaver specifically asked that potential donors be given step-by-step instruction on how to donate to Weaver’s PAC as opposed to the charity earmarked for Flint citizens:
According to CNN, there is no “Karenabout Flint” PAC registered with Michigan’s tax agencies, but Weaver did use the phrase as her slogan during her mayoral campaign and it remains her Twitter handle.
Henderson says that she immediately notified the city’s interim legal council, Anthony Chubb, about Murray’s allegations and followed up with Chubb via email the next day. Henderson says she followed up a third time with Chubb on Feb. 12, writing in an email that “this is a very serious matter.” She says she was fired by Weaver later that day.
Per the complaint, Henderson was told that she was fired because the state could no longer fund her salary. Henderson alleges that explanation does not make sense because she was paid by the city. She goes on to state that Weaver and Chubb then conspired to hide her whistleblowing when they convinced the city council to affirm her firing with a 9-0 vote on March 14.
CNN reports that the city has declined comment citing the pending litigation. As CNN notes, Henderson’s allegations carry extra weight because Weaver unseated Flint’s sitting Democratic mayor this past November by running on a platform that positioned her as a champion for the city’s residents in post-water crisis Flint.