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Michigan Political Controversy Involving Charity Organization

May 10, 2016


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In Flint, Michigan, the mayor is facing lawsuits claiming diverting people from making charitable donations.

In a lawsuit filed during the first week of April, the former city administrator of Flint, Natasha Henderson, claimed she was fired after raising concerns that the mayor’s office redirected funds which were originally meant for victims of the water crisis towards the campaign funding for the mayor.

Henderson claimed that Mayor Karen Weaver told city employees to stop potential charitable donations to Safe Water/Safe Homes in February. The charity, operated by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, was designed to help those affected by Flint’s poisoned water crisis.

Maxine Murray, city employee, was told to transfer the money from the Flint charity to a group called “KarenAboutFlint.” According to the lawsuit on The Daily Caller, Murray was so shaken by the order that she went directly to Henderson because she was “worried about going to jail.”

“I’m doing what I told the people who voted for me that I would do,” Weaver said. “My focus is moving the City of Flint forward and I feel these personnel changes are necessary to keep us on the right path.”

Weaver fired Henderson in February, stating important to help address the water crisis by changing personnel.

Henderson’s lawsuit claims that the money transfer was made without the city council knowing, as well as without the knowledge of the control board — which was created to oversee Flint’s transition to state control.

Katherine Smith Kennedy, Henderson’s attorney, told CNN that Henderson was an important asset to the water crisis team.

“It was not until this report that there was any discussion of her being fired,” Kennedy said. “My client was brought in to help the City of Flint. She did a very good job in that regard. She did the right thing here to report this red flag, and she was punished for it.”

According to CNN, there are no references to “KarenAboutFlint” in Michigan’s tax registries.

Despite some charities being taken advantage of like that in Flint, there are many other charity organizations helping families in need every day. In the United States, about 80% of clothing donations are used by organizations to help need and for funding for important issues like the Flint water crisis.

Make the change and give to a charitable donation today.

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