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Independent investigation finds no evidence of unethical conduct by Flint's mayor

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Attorney Brendon Basiga (right) concluded there is "no evidence" of unethical conduct by Mayor Karen Weaver connected to former city administrator's allegations. He was hired by Flint's city attorney to conduct the investigation

An independent probe has found no evidence of unethical conduct by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

The allegations came from Flint’s former city administrator. Natasha Henderson claims she was fired, in part, for reporting that the mayor steered donations to the city into a fund Weaver controls.

Attorney Brendon Basiga was brought in by Flint’s city attorney to conduct an independent probe of the allegations. He has been interviewing officials at city hall for more than a month. He says the donations in question sat on a city employee’s desk for weeks. Ultimately, Basiga says the checks were returned to those who made the donations. Also, he says a check of financial records for the mayor’s fund did not show any suspect donations.

“Based on the information I was able to obtain, I can find no evidence of unethical conduct by Mayor Karen Weaver,” Basiga told reporters.

Basiga says he did not interview Natasha Henderson. 

Mayor Weaver had a muted response to the investigation’s conclusions.

“I’m glad the investigation is over,” Weaver told reporters this morning, “and that’s all I can comment on at this point, but I knew they were false accusations.”

The investigation is over, but that’s not the end.

Natasha Henderson has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city.

Henderson's attorney, Katherine Smith Kennedy issued a statement after the release of the report:

What was shared this morning does not change the facts in Natasha Henderson’s case. She was fired after verbally reporting and then following up via two emails with her concerns over the redirection of charity dollars. Ms. Henderson’s termination came within hours of her third attempt to use the appropriate channels to raise concerns about Ms. Weaver’s behavior.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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