Donated checks to city “never cashed,” Mayor Weaver’s chief of staff says
By Jan Worth-Nelson
Checks made out to the City of Flint as donations after the water crisis broke this year “have never been cashed,” Steve Branch, Mayor Karen Weaver’s chief of staff, told community partners in the Flint Water Recovery Group at a meeting today at City Hall.
“To tell you the truth, they are sitting in the City Attorney’s office,” Branch stated. He said the donations amounted to less than $5,000, and asserted the donors are being contacted and the checks likely will be returned.
Branch’s comments relate to allegations by former City Administrator Natasha Henderson, who said she had been told Weaver had directed an assistant to deposit donated money into a personal account. Henderson, who had been appointed by former emergency manager Darnell Earley, was fired by Mayor Weaver in early February.
Branch noted the results of an independent investigation, announced at a press conference Monday, found there was no basis for the allegations. See Investigation Results here.
Branch’s remarks came as he announced that the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, the designated fiduciary for two funds set up to receive donations, is making data available now on how much has been received by the CFGF, and where it is going. That data can be accessed through FlintCares.org under the tab “Money.”
The Flint Water Recovery Group, initially called the community partners group, is a coalition of representatives from mostly social service agencies such as the Food Bank, United Way, the Red Cross, neighborhood associations, churches and residents involved in addressing the water crisis.
Representatives from the City, the governor’s office, state and federal health officials, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are frequent guests. The group meets at 3 p.m. every Thursday in the dome at City Hall.
EVM Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.