Panel rejects recall petition language against Flint's mayor

Nov 29, 2016

An effort to recall Flint’s mayor has been derailed.

It didn’t take long for the Genesee County Board of Electors to dispatch the petition, maybe two minutes.

The extremely short meeting ended after recall organizer Alex Harris admitted he didn’t have evidence of his first claim against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver that she didn’t pay her water bill.

Last month, the Flint Journal reported that Weaver and her husband had not paid their water bill for months. Soon after, more than $500 was paid to the account. Weaver’s own water bill had gone unpaid during the same time the mayor was urging city residents to pay their own water and sewer bills.

But Probate Judge Jennie Barkey wanted more evidence to back up the claim made in the recall petition. When Harris admitted he didn’t have a copy of the mayor’s water bill, Barkey moved to throw out the entire recall petition language. The move was very quickly seconded and the hearing was over.

Harris stood stunned as the largely pro-Weaver crowd exited the courtroom.

“I’m just shocked that I wasn’t even given an opportunity to present the information and the facts as I know them to be,” Harris said afterward.

During the meeting, Mayor Karen Weaver sat a few feet from the man trying to oust her from office.

“He’s like a fly in the ointment. A distraction,” Weaver said after the meeting, “I’m just going to stay focused on the work we have.”

But the recall issue might not be dead.  

Harris says he will continue to try to recall the mayor who’s been in office little more than a year.

Other issues cited in Harris’ recall effort include; Weaver’s involvement with a trash hauling company linked to a federal corruption investigation, her use of Flint police officers for her security, and the alleged use of taxpayer dollars without city council approval.