Flint Mayor Says Sponsored Study Clears Her

     FLINT, Mich. (CN) — Claims that a Michigan mayor misappropriated donations meant for lead-poisoned Flint are unsubstantiated, an attorney the city tapped announced Monday.
     “I cannot find any evidence of unethical conduct by Mayor Karen Weaver,” Brendon Basiga of Basiga Law Firm told reporters this morning.
     Flint hired Basiga to conduct an investigation into a federal complaint filed last month by former city administrator Natasha Henderson.
     The lawsuit brought swift denials from Weaver, whom Henderson accuses of directing engineering a scheme where donations meant for the charity Safe Water/Safe Homes were to KarenaboutFlint, the mayor’s personal political action committee.
Henderson claims to have been fired after asking city counsel to look into Weaver.
     Weaver’s assistant Maxine Murray allegedly came to Henderson in tears over the scheme, saying she feared following Weaver’s directions about redirecting donations would send her to jail.
     Basiga told reporters today, however, that he questioned Murray, and that Murray has denied making such allegations to Henderson.
     Since he was unable to verify Henderson’s allegations with Murray and did not see any evidence of misappropriation in bank records, Basiga said he found no evidence of any unethical conduct on the part of the mayor.
     Basiga said he studied the bank records of the Friends of Karen Weaver account and a Karen for Flint account. He made no mention of the KarenAbout Flint account.
     Weaver’s current chief legal counsel, Stacey Erwin Oakes, said the checks in question were never cashed and are still in the city’s finance department, as they were “forgotten about.”
     The mayor herself issued a statement on Basiga’s findings.
     “I’m so glad the independent investigation is over and clears me and my staff of any wrongdoing regarding donations sent to the city of Flint,” Weaver said.
     “As I’ve said before, I thought it was absolutely awful to have allegations made like that especially while the city is going through this kind of crisis and in need of financial resources and financial support,” Weaver added. “To put that kind of could over us is really, really sad.”
     Weaver refused further comment on reporters’ questions.
     Henderson contends Weaver fired her and got the City Council after the fact by spreading false allegations of misconduct.

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