WKUF News - 12 May 2016

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With WKUF News, I'm David Jackson for Thursday, May 12th, 2016.

Weaver calls claims by ex-city administrator “outrageously false”

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver responded to the allegations brought against her yesterday by a former Flint employee.

Roberto Acosta of the Flint Journal reports that former city administrator Natasha Henderson filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Mayor Weaver instructed her staff to direct would-be donors to her own fund, rather than to the city's donation fund.

Mayor Weaver said in a statement yesterday that quote, “It is the general policy of the City of Flint to not respond to allegations in civil lawsuits, However, in this instance, I want to personally state that legal counsel for the city will be responding to the allegations and outrageously false claims being asserted against the city and me by Ms. Henderson.” unquote.

Ms. Henderson also alleges that she was fired from her city administrator position as a result of requesting an investigation into the alleged financial practices of the Mayor.

Henderson's position could only be terminated by a joint agreement from the mayor, city council and the Receivership Transition Advisory Board, an agreement that was finalized by a unanimous vote from the Flint City Council in March.

Gary Ridley of the Flint Journal reports that while the three separate entities did agree to terminate Henderson's position, City Councilman Scott Kincaid said Tuesday that council members were never told of the whistle blowing claims, or any call to investigate the mayor, before voting.

In a letter to Gov. Snyder in February, Flint City Council Members claimed that Weaver acted on her own initiative, to fire Henderson with consulting or notifying them, despite the language in Henderson's contract.

The former city administrator says that she was called into Weaver's office and was told that she was being fired because the city could no longer fund her salary.

According to Henderson's attorney, however, once she requested an investigation of the Mayor's activities, she was covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act, which may have offered protection from any allegedly unlawful termination.

FBI Director says 'viral video effect' blunts police work

FBI director James Comey says that a recent spike in homicides may be a result of police not wanting to end up in the next viral video.

The New York Times reports that Comey singled out two cities, Chicago and Las Vegas, in referring to a recent spike in murders. According to a report that has yet to be publicly posted, murders and shootings are up more than 50 percent over last year.

Comey said that he could not fully explain the trend, saying that he does not know the answer to this complicated and hard issue, but something is happening, and this country has a problem.

According to the director, there's a perception in this country that police are less likely to do marginal additional policing that could suppress crime, such as getting out of the car to approach a group at two in the morning, because they don't want their actions to be taken out of context in online videos.

When asked about his past views on the so-called Ferguson effect as a possible explanation, Mr. Comey rejected that particular term, instead noting that he continues to hear from police officials in private conversations that their forces are pulling back from aggressive confrontations with the public, because of the prevalence of video cameras everywhere.

James Pasco Jr., executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, however, argued the director's point saying that it sounds like he is inferring that police officers are afraid to do their jobs, adding that Comey has absolutely no proof to support his claims.

The FBI has promised to build a database to compile police confrontations with the public, however Mr. Comey says that the project is at least two years from completion.

Hillary Clinton pledges to release gov't info on Area 51

And finally, Hillary Clinton says that if elected, she pledges to release gov't information on Area 51.

United Press Int'l reports that the democratic presidential nominee hopeful said in a recent radio interview, and on a popular late-night talk show, that barring any threats to national security, she would open the files as much as possible and see what the information shows.

These statements are part of her recent trend of tailored pandering to any group she comes across to garner more votes, including, but not limited to, extolling the importance of the coal industry while in West Virginia, claiming to carry a bottle of hot sauce with her to an urban New York morning show, and speaking at a $1,500 dollar a plate Trayvon Martin Foundation event while in Florida.

But when asked if she herself believes in UFO's by a Television talkshow host, Mrs. Clinton was quick to strut her alien subculture parlance by correcting the host, saying that there's a new name now, it's called an unexplained aerial phenomenon.

For more information about today's news, visit WKUF.fm, I'm David Jackson.