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Flint mayor defends decision to fire 3 top city officials

Feb 15, 2016

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she didn’t think Friday was “a bad time” to fire three top city officials.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver listens during a news conference at a Flint church today
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Some have questioned the timing of Weaver’s decision to let go of Flint Police Chief James Tolbert, Fire Chief David Cox and City Administrator Natasha Henderson last week.

This comes as the city struggles with its drinking water crisis.

“I can’t wait for the water crisis to be ended because we don’t know when that will happen,” says Weaver. 

The three officials were hired by Flint’s former emergency managers.

Weaver hopes to name replacements soon. Since Weaver took office in November, several top city officials have been fired, left for new jobs or resigned.

Last month, the Receivership Transition Advisory Board voted to give the mayor authority to hire and fire department heads. During her campaign last fall, Weaver spoke about the need for the mayor to have that authority. 

For four years, Flint’s emergency managers and a city administrator appointed by an emergency manager had the authority. Former Flint city administrator Natasha Henderson was relieved of her duties by Mayor Weaver.