Sworn testimony reveals new information on whistleblower suit against Flint's mayor
(05/22/17) - New information is surfacing in the whistleblower lawsuit against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
Weaver's former number two in charge, Natasha Henderson, says she was fired for alerting other city officials that Weaver was allegedly redirecting water relief donations to her campaign fund.
Since she filed suit last year, her legal team has interviewed dozens of witnesses. ABC12 News went through that sworn testimony Monday.
Last February, city officials created a legitimate nonprofit to handle water relief donations, known as Safe Water Safe Homes. The non-profit is affiliated with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
Newly released court documents show two weeks later, Weaver and her 'unofficial' adviser Aonie Gilcreast set up another account - Caring For Flint. It was set up as what's called a '527', which is similar to a Political Action Committee. It's loosely regulated and typically used during elections.
Weaver denies ever redirecting funds.
Emails from a law firm hired to help set up Caring For Flint suggest the 527 was created to raise money for pipe replacements.
We reached out to the mayor's officer, who couldn't comment on pending litigation.
"This fund was done in secret, no one from council knew, no one from the CFO and no one from finance knew about the account," said Katherine Smith-Kennedy who is representing Henderson.
In sworn testimony obtained by ABC12 News, the mayor's assistant, Maxine Murray, was allegedly told by Weaver to direct water relief donations to Caring For Flint. Murray then allegedly went to Henderson in 'tears', stating she feared going to jail if she listened to her boss.
"Weaver was telling her and a volunteer to redirect funds from the Safe Water Safe Home Fund to her fund," Smith-Kennedy said.
Henderson testified that she told the city's legal department about the allegations, who said they would look into it. Two days later, Henderson was fired and says she was given bogus reasons why.