Former Flint mayor challenges $4.5 million legal judgement in court

Oct 3, 2012

Former Flint Mayor Don Williamson is suing the city after officials demanded that he pay out $4.5 million awarded to police officers in a 2011 discrimination suit.

Williamson is arguing that city officials violated his constitutional rights when they asked a judge to require the former mayor pay the sum, Kristin Longley of the Flint Journal reports:

Williamson's lawsuit--which also names City Attorney Peter Bade, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, former emergency manager Michael Brown and the Flint City Council--says Williamson should have been exempt from paying the award in accordance with a city ordinance that indemnifies, or holds harmless, its public officials for their actions "while acting within the scope of (their) authority."

Williamson's lawyer, Joseph Furton, says that Williamson was "selectively denied" indemnity in the original suit which alleged that the former mayor used race as a factor in promoting officers to a special police unit called the Citizens Service Bureau in 2006, reports Longley.

The city is asking the judge to dismiss the case, saying that Williamson acted outside the scope of his authority when he considered race in the promotions.

Longley notes that the judge has ordered a third-party mediator to investigate a possible settlement to the case which is scheduled to begin with an October 15 status conference.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom