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Topic: New lawsuit about Weaver's ethics and staff-
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Council president deeply troubled by email in trash dispute


Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on November 07, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated November 07, 2016 at 7:09 AM
FLINT, MI -- Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson said he is troubled by an email between a city official and the ex-head of a garbage company at the center of a federal probe in Macomb County.

The day after Flint City Council voted against hiring Rizzo Environmental Services as the city's trash hauler, Flint City Administrator Sylvester Jones sent then-Rizzo head Chuck Rizzo an email saying the city intended to proceed with a five-year $17.5-million contract with the company.

"On behalf of the residents of Flint, Michigan I would like to thank you for submitting your comprehensive bid for waste collection on May 12, 2016," Jones wrote in a June 28 email timestamped 4:06 p.m. "After a careful review of the bids, it had been determined that Rizzo Environmental Services was the lowest bidder. As a result. It has been determined that the City of Flint intends to contract with Rizzo Environmental Services to collect solid waste, recyclables and assist with blight remediation beginning Friday July 1, 2016."

Council President Kerry Nelson said the email suggests the administration's mind was made up before the issue had even come to council.

Council members voted against hiring Rizzo Environmental Services the day before the email, saying they needed to do more research.

"It is deeply troubling to me that after the council said pause a minute let's do our research and let us look at it, for him to write an email the day after," Nelson said. "That sounds like a done deal. That's deeply troubling."

Jones said the move was to temporarily put a garbage hauler in place because the city's contract with Republic Services was set to expire June 30.

"The purpose of that email was to execute a temporary contract because as of June 30, 2016, there was no contract in place," Jones said. "Please be advised that the City of Flint did not have a waste collection contract in place, effective June 30, 2016. The administration's goal has always been to select the lowest bidder. Rizzo was the lowest bidder. That can be confirmed."

Documents obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show Chuck Rizzo Jr., founder of Rizzo Environmental Services, corresponded with some of Mayor Karen Weaver's top administrators including Flint's purchasing manager Derrick Jones, Jones and Weaver's Chief of Staff Steve Branch.

Weaver says she 'didn't know' ex-Flint mayor part of trash talks despite emails

Rizzo was cc'd in about 50 emails, emailed staff regarding the trash contract and received direct emails from Flint officials.

Most of the emails from Rizzo were for contract clarification and status updates. The founder became more involved in email correspondence in July after the council voted down using his company to haul Flint's trash. Correspondence also increased in September when Weaver's office executed an emergency purchasing order to put Rizzo on Flint streets to haul the city's trash.

Chuck Rizzo could not be reached for comment on the emails.

The council later came back in July and voted against hiring the company all together saying they were questioned Rizzo Environmental Services' integrity and ties to Canada and former mayor Woodrow Stanley.

"I can't understand why the city administrator would do that after the council has said slow down, let us take our time and let us do our research...Here again, there's a process that has to be done and they were not allowing the process to happen," Nelson said. "It doesn't look good...to me he's reassuring them in this email that they would get this contract and I don't know why he would do that. That raises a red flag."

Derrick Jones sent emails to have Rizzo Environmental Services to regarding the city's trash including discussions on an emergency purchasing order executed under Weaver for the company to start hauling the city's trash for two weeks. The emergency purchasing was later extended bringing Rizzo's services to a total of four weeks.

The order finally wrapped up last week.

Other emails included clarification on the 5-year offer haul Flint's trash for an estimated $17.5 million which was $2 million lower than Republic Services' bid. The company also competing for the trash contract.

On July 29, 2016 Rizzo emailed Derrick Jones to assure him that the trash company could start hauling the city's trash.

"Mr. Jones, per our conversation Rizzo is in agreement to do everything under the five-year bid proposal, pricing included, as well as supply a truck to address blight," Rizzo wrote. "We are ready to perform all services on Monday, our supervisor (Arnold Brown) is very familiar with your community and what's needed as he was formally with Republic Waste, along with several other Rizzo supervisors."

Rizzo stepped down in October after claims of corruption and bribery after officials from Clinton and Macomb townships were arrested and charged for their interactions with the garbage company. GFL Environmental USA Inc., the company that acquired Rizzo Environmental Services, told Detroit Free Press reporters that Rizzo was stepping down immediately.

"In the best interests of the company and our customers, Chuck Rizzo, Jr. has resigned, effective immediately. I will oversee Rizzo's business on an interim basis until further notice," said Patrick Dovigi, president and chief executive of Rizzo's parent company, GFL Environmental Inc., in a written statement according to an Oct. 25 Detroit Free Press article.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has said she was not offered a bribe but also said she could not speak for anyone else.

Mayor says no bribes offered to her in Flint's controversial trash contract

There were emails regarding orders issued by Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah, who forced the city to continue contracting with Republic Services to haul Flint's trash while Flint City Council members and the administration worked out their trash dispute.

Rizzo was also cc'd on a number of emails with James Stapleton, who played a role in advising the administration on trash negotiations with Flint City Council.

Stapleton, the president and founder of B&R Consulting of Ann Arbor, provided talking points for officials and gave strategies to the administration in hope of getting the council on board with hiring Rizzo.

Representatives from Rizzo have confirmed that Stapleton has served as consultant for the company.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:24 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:23 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Nelson needs to be careful as some suspect he is in "bed with Republic"
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:25 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Weaver says she 'didn't know' ex-Flint mayor part of trash talks despite emails

f
Print Email Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com
on November 02, 2016 at 3:18 PM, updated November 02, 2016 at 6:09 PM


FLINT, MI -- Mayor Karen Weaver said she didn't know former Mayor Woodrow Stanley was working as a consultant for Rizzo Environmental Services before she recommended the city council vote to give the company a multi-million-dollar garbage contract here.

But documents obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show her top aides received at least two emails from Stanley on the subject of garbage before the council's vote and show the ex-mayor and state legislator was invited to conference calls and strategy meetings with city and Rizzo officials in the following weeks.

Rizzo is the company at the center of a corruption and bribery investigation by the FBI, accused of having paid cash bribes to at least two Macomb County officials in exchange for help in gaining waste-hauling contracts there.

Weaver has said she was not offered bribes from the company. She withdrew her strong support for a five-year, $17.5-million contract for Rizzo after the FBI probe became public.

Flint's Receivership Transition Advisory Board on Oct. 26 approved a one-year contract with Republic Services to haul Flint's trash, but before that deal was struck, emails show Stanley's involvement in discussions promoting Rizzo inside city hall.

A months-long dispute over the contract began after the council voted 5-3 on June 27 against Weaver's recommendation for Rizzo.

However, city records show Stanley forwarded information by email to Steve Branch, Weaver's chief of staff, regarding the garbage contract days before the city council rejected the proposal.



The June 22 email makes reference to a letter written by another Rizzo consultant "in case it is necessary" and appears to have been sent to top officials at Rizzo as well as Stanley. However, the attached letter was apparently not forwarded to Branch.

Kristin Moore, Weaver's director of communications, told The Journal on June 29, two days after the council's vote, that the mayor was "not aware of any consulting agreement between Mr. Stanley and Rizzo Services" after questions about his involvement were raised by city council members.

Rizzo officials confirmed the same day that the ex-mayor was working for the company as a consultant.

Moore said Tuesday, Nov. 1, that Weaver has restated she was not aware of any arrangement between Stanley and Rizzo.


Stanley said in an email to The Journal, "My interest all along was to assist in making sure the residents of Flint received the best value with trash collection. Rizzo offered a significant savings ($2 million). That's the bottom line."

However, Stanley did not comment on a garbage-related email sent the day after the council's vote to officials at Rizzo and Weaver's top advisors -- City Administrator Sylvester Jones, Branch, volunteer Aonie Gilcreast and Moore.

The email was from James Stapleton, the president and founder of B&R Consulting of Ann Arbor, and included "talking points" in an attachment marked "Woodrow outline" and details arguments to move ahead with a contract with Rizzo.

Joe Munem, a spokesman for GFL Environmental USA Inc., confirmed Stapleton was a Rizzo consultant and that the company had an ongoing relationship with him.

Stapleton, a trustee at Eastern Michigan University and former Detroit Tigers executive, would not comment on his role in pushing to secure a waste contract in Flint for Rizzo, but emails show he was active in discussions with representatives of both the company and the city.

Records released to MLive-The Flint Journal also showed the city administrator received an email from Stanley on March 31 -- nearly three months before the council's vote -- titled "proposed scoring system for Flint bid."


The message in the email makes reference to a "sanitation bid scoring chart," which was included as an attached document. The document showed how many points could be awarded to bidders based on the price of their proposal, qualifications, past involvement with similar projects and the age of the company's fleet.

Moore said in an email to The Journal the city has no record that Jones ever responded to the email.

The city's spokeswoman added that being sent a communication doesn't equate to acceptance of the content.

"Again, just because someone sent me something doesn't mean anything ... As members of city staff we get all types of emails from all types of people. We cannot control who emails us and what those emails may contain. Information that seems relevant is passed on, information that does not is disregarded," Moore said.

Flint Councilman Scott Kincaid said Stanley's work for Rizzo was no secret inside city hall.

Stanley met with him in the first quarter of 2016 about the city's garbage contract and whether he would support putting the job back out for bid because a previous deal with Republic allowed for it, Kincaid said.

The councilman said he and other council members continued to hear from Stanley as he advocated for a new deal on trash pickup and doesn't understand how Weaver could not have been aware of Stanley's connection to Rizzo.

"Too many people knew" for Weaver not to know, he said. "They all knew."
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:34 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Does this mean the mayor has not set up a network to know what is happening in her own administration? Is she so preoccupied with her success on water issues that she ignores other pressing issues? She had a town hall but she does not have open door meetings for resident concerns. Individuals attempting to schedule appointments for pressing City concerns are stonewalled.

Why does she depend on unpaid individuals, that are not indemnified nor council approved, to make the decisions for the City? Could that be why some are calling for her to be recalled.

The State has to force her to make some calls like making unapid commercial accounts pay up.

M-live complined how she praised the Capital Theatre project before she denounced it demanding more input into state decisions. Does she even have a mind of her own?
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:41 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Concerns raised over influence of volunteer mayoral advisor in Flint ...
www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/07/flint_officials_question_mayor.html
Jul 8, 2016 - Flint City Council members want to know how much influence one of the mayor's ... Weaver said Gilcreast has not violated any city policies and ..
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:47 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com
Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on July 08, 2016 at 12:56 PM, updated July 08, 2016 at 3:16 PM
FLINT, MI Flint City Council members want to know how much influence one of the mayor's advisors has at City Hall.

Aonie Gilcreast is not on the city's payroll but is a common sight at meetings, including job interviews with prospective city employees.

His presence has spurred a number of questions on what exactly Gilcreast does for the city.

"It's one thing to have an advisor," said Flint City Councilwoman Kate Fields. "It's another thing having someone sitting in your office making decisions and they are not a city employee. That's not correct.

Weaver said Gilcreast has not violated any city policies and declined to answer questions about him.

"He hasn't done anything wrong," Weaver said. "That is all I have to say."

Gilcreast, a former club owner who says he still owns rental property in the city, contends that he has done nothing wrong.

He typically comes to City Council meetings with or without the mayor, sits in on committee meetings and can often be found at city hall.

"I am just a volunteer," Gilcreast said. "I'm no different than any other volunteer at city hall."

He declined to elaborate on his role with the city but said he is Weaver's "key" advisor.

Gilcreast said he worked as Weaver's campaign manager and helped her win election.

"I'm no stranger to politics," said Gilcreast. "How does one be a total stranger to politics and you beat Dayne Walling."

Gilcreast said he has lived in Flint area for decades and has a degree in political science from the University of Arkansas.

In addition to being a local businessman, Gilcreast said he has been involved in politics and worked campaigns Flint's first black elected mayor Jim Sharp, former mayor, Woodrow Stanley and Darryl Buchanan who lost the mayor's race to Walling in 2011.

"I am one of the most recognized men in Flint," said Gilcreast who owned Hollywood East, a popular Flint night club he opened in 1985. "I've been successful."

Gilcreast, who is married to Flint NAACP President Frances Gilcreast, has also served as the group's political action chairman.

In May, Fields sent an inquiry to city's human resource department regarding claims that Gilcreast participated in a personnel meeting.

Fields asked the city's attorneys if Gilcreast's participation in hirings, firings and interviews for the city is a liability and she also asked the human resource department if he has sat in on interviews for city positions, participated in any hirings, interviews, and/or firings of city employees.

"There isn't anything in this city that doesn't happen without him being part of the city," Fields said. "We think there may be a violation of labor law. But the problem is, there's no clear cut rule book or guide book that says what we can do about this."

Fields said city council was recently given a memo from Flint City Administrator Sylvester Jones to City Clerk Inez Brown regarding council's questions on the scope of Gilcreast's authority, why is he allowed to make decisions regarding city business and has he participated in hiring decisions.

"Mr. Aonie Gilcreast is a volunteer," Jones told Brown. "He does not make DECISIONS on City of Flint business and contracts."

Jones also wrote that Gilcreast has sat in on interviews for the City of Flint along with other volunteers including Michael McDaniel who serves as coordinator for Weaver's Fast Start program replacing water lines in Flint homes, and Dr. Laura Sullivan who participates on water committees and KWA.

The letter went to further say that Gilcreast is a volunteer who has "offered advice on matter related to the Water Crisis."

In a separate letter given to council, Human Resources and Labor Relations Director Charley McClendon said Gilcreast was present during the interviews for the city's Department of Public Works Director post in April.

"Aonie Gilcreast entered midway through the first interview and sat in the back of the room...Mr. Gilcreast walked to the panelist during the interview and talked to the panelist. He conferred with the panelist after the interview was conducted and was present for every interview.

The letter also said Gilcreast was in a meeting between Jones and former assistant to the city administrator Sean Kammer, where Kammer's job performance was discussed - a meeting where Kammer resigned.

"Mr. Gilcreast was present, wherein Mr. Kammer's job performance was discussed," wrote McClendon in the May 16 letter. "The meeting became contentious and resulted in Mr. Kammer resigning that day, March 31, 2016."

The issue was on the agenda for a July 6 committee meeting but the meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

"We've asked questions about his role and his responsibilities," Nelson said. "This is who the mayor has selected to be her top advisor. He is who he is. He's not an employee of the city Flint. He's not a department head. He's an advisor."

The issue will come up at a future meeting, officials said.
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:50 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Gilcreast supporters have stated Gilcreast works hard for the Mayor and should be paid.
When his past as a head of a numbers group, whose home was raided by the feds , they say everyone has a past and everyone gambles on the Michigan lottery. Detractors reject that theory and say there s a big difference between the legal lottery and illegal numbers.

There is the issue of his political actions as part of the NAACP's Flint branch. Others complain about the $400,000 against Genesee county for their actions against Park rangers who ticketed Gilcreast for ignoring an emergency vehicle.


James Rutherford, when he was Mayor, also had unpaid volunteers helping him run City hall. First thing the Emergency Manager did was kick them out.

Can we afford to have un-indemnified volunteers running our ciry? Can we afford a Mayor who is clueless about her own office and who allows unelected people to run her office?


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:00 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

LinkedIn Home

Sylvester Jones Jr
Grand Blanc, MichiganProgram Development

Current
City of Flint - Mayor's Office, Self Employed, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated

Previous
Ruth Mott Foundation, Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint

Education
Central Michigan University


Summary
Sylvester Jones, Jr. works to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations. His experience in the nonprofit sector allows him to build cross-sector partnerships and advance social movements that aim to transform communities.
Experience

City Administrator
City of Flint - Mayor's Office
March 2016 Present (9 months)

Project Pride Consulting
Self Employed

Present
Member
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated

April 1990 Present (26 years 8 months)
Ruth Mott Foundation
Program Officer
Ruth Mott Foundation
March 2006 June 2015 (9 years 4 months)
Helped Genesee County based nonprofit organizations understand the Ruth Mott Foundation funding guidelines and strategies.

Co-Chairperson
Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy
January 2010 August 2012 (2 years 8 months)
The Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy is an affinity group of the Council of Michigan Foundations.

Executive Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint
July 2001 March 2006 (4 years 9 months)
My responsibilities included recruiting, hiring and managing a staff of 20 plus employees; volunteer recruitment; cultivating and nurturing partnerships with local businesses and nonprofit organizations; developing and coordinating fundraising events; grantwriting; facilities management; supporting a volunteer, non-compensated board of directors and other responsibilities associated with providing much needed mentor services for Genesee County children children primarily from single-parent families.

Senior Associate
United Way of Genesee County
September 1994 February 1998 (3 years 6 months)
Provide technical assistance and professional support to organizations as they plan and coordinate their workplace fundraising campaigns.
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:07 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

From M-Live


peoplestruth Feb 27, 2016
What is this chief of staff position? Isn't that what a city administrator is?

Nothing against the individuals chosen, but the city administrator role (which is in the charter, unlike the chief of staff) has been sadly misunderstood or misused by many mayors in the past, and I fear history is repeating itself. Running the day to day city government is a different matter than running a nonprofit. The union contracts, federal regulations, bonds and complicated budget are well outside the experience of a nonprofit professional. There is a reason why groups like ICMA exist (which credentials people for local government).

Flint can't afford having anyone in this key role who has to make rookie mistakes. And, the city administrator answers only to the mayor, so there is no check and balance on the role. I hope the charter commission is taking note- this is exactly why they should consider a council-city manager form of government (or at a minimum, to put some eligibility criteria on the administrator position like being a member of ICMA.)
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:14 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Office of the President
Board of Regents Office
207 Welch Hall

Bio |
James F. Stapleton
Jim Stapleton was appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm in January of 2007 to replace Karen Valvo. Stapleton was reappointed by Governor Granholm in January 2009 to his own eight-year term that expires December 31, 2016.
Stapleton is President and CEO of B&R Consultants. From 2001 through July of 2004 (while continuing to fully own and operate B&R), Stapleton assumed the responsibilities of Senior Vice President of Business Affairs of the Detroit Tigers, making him (for a good majority of his tenure) the highest ranking African-American within the business operations of a Major League Baseball franchise. In July of 2004, Stapleton left Major League Baseball to participate in a group that, in June of 2005, purchased the Minnesota Vikings.
He is the former president of The Think Twice Foundation, an organization comprised of African and Jewish American Community Leaders that raised more than $1 million and provided more than 200 units of new and/or refurbished housing for Detroit residents. He is also a past chairman of the Detroit Chapter of the Urban League.
Stapleton has also served on several profit and not-for-profit boards, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Wayne State University's Shiffman Medical Library Board of Visitors, Ontario Michigan Rail, and the Board of Directors of Detroit Commerce Bank.
He currently serves on the Personnel and Compensation Committee and is chair of the Student Affairs Committee.
First appointed: Jan. 2007
Current term expires: Dec. 2016
Contact Info:
Board of Regents Office
207 Welch Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: 734-487-2410
Fax: 734-484-9704
jstapes@att.net
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:34 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

"Stanley said in an email to The Journal, "My interest all along was to assist in making sure the residents of Flint received the best value with trash collection. Rizzo offered a significant savings ($2 million). That's the bottom line."

However, Stanley did not comment on a garbage-related email sent the day after the council's vote to officials at Rizzo and Weaver's top advisors -- City Administrator Sylvester Jones, Branch, volunteer Aonie Gilcreast and Moore.

The email was from James Stapleton, the president and founder of B&R Consulting of Ann Arbor, and included "talking points" in an attachment marked "Woodrow outline" and details arguments to move ahead with a contract with Rizzo.

Joe Munem, a spokesman for GFL Environmental USA Inc., confirmed Stapleton was a Rizzo consultant and that the company had an ongoing relationship with him.

Stapleton, a trustee at Eastern Michigan University and former Detroit Tigers executive, would not comment on his role in pushing to secure a waste contract in Flint for Rizzo, but emails show he was active in discussions with representatives of both the company and the city.

Records released to MLive-The Flint Journal also showed the city administrator received an email from Stanley on March 31 -- nearly three months before the council's vote -- titled "proposed scoring system for Flint bid." '
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:39 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

A later Journal story removed references to Stapleton's talking points memo, Woodrow outline and the Stanley memo proposing a scoring method.
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:03 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

From M-live:


Paul Jordan 17 hours ago
The email from Sylvester Jones to Rizzo is astounding. His email places the city in unnecessary jeopardy of liability. It was fool hardy to have sent it, and an experienced administrator would not have done so.

The reason is that it could be (and probably will be) argued that this email established a reasonable expectation that Rizzo would be getting the contract. Now that they are NOT getting the contract, thanks to this email they might have the basis for claiming in court that they should be reimbursed by Flint for any expenses that they incurred in anticipation of receiving the contract.

If we needed any more evidence that the revised city charter should require city administrators to be professionally qualified, this is it



untanglingwebs 21 hours ago
The original story was revised. Did Stanley set up the evaluation criteria?


"The email was from James Stapleton, the president and founder of B&R Consulting of Ann Arbor, and included "talking points" in an attachment marked "Woodrow outline" and details arguments to move ahead with a contract with Rizzo. "

Records released to MLive-The Flint Journal also showed the city administrator received an email from Stanley on March 31 -- nearly three months before the council's vote -- titled "proposed scoring system for Flint bid."



Paul Jordan 16 hours ago
@untanglingwebs Since Rizzo confirmed that Stanley was working for them as a consultant, this means that someone employed by Rizzo had input into the scoring scheme with which Rizzo's bid would be judged.

I've known Karen Weaver a long time and have no reason to believe that she is anything other than an honest person. She had no experience in government at any level prior to her election, so she would have had to depend upon other people's experience for guidance in choosing key employees (such as the city administrator) and ad hoc councilors (such as Stanley and Aonie Gilcrest).

At this point, after the Rizzo fiasco she can no longer claim to be naive. She is responsible for any shady dealing that effects her administration from now on. As a trained psychotherapist, she knows how important it is to work within firm boundaries. She would be well advised to clean house without further delay, find some more objective mentors, and establish iron clad boundaries between her administrators and lobbyists (and pay her water bills!)
Post Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:03 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

City pays councilman $4,500 after he was taken out of meeting in handcuffs


Councilman Eric Mays the sole supporter of hiring a new company to haul Flint's trash was escorted o
Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on November 09, 2016 at 6:30 AM, updated November 09, 2016 at 6:31 AM
FLINT, MI The city paid a Flint councilman $4,500 after he claimed he was unlawfully arrested when police escorted him from a contentious meeting over the garbage contract.

Councilman Eric Mays was given the money after he filed a damage claim because he was handcuffed and taken from an August city council meeting.

Mays was led from the council meeting, taken down to the first floor in an elevator and released.

The officer who handcuffed and removed Mays from the meeting later told council members during a committee meeting that Mays told him he would have to handcuff him before escorting him from council chambers.

Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson says he plans to talk to Attorney General Bill Schuette's office about the money paid to Mays.

"I'm looking to give all this information to the Attorney General," Nelson said. "You don't pay a council person for a false damage claim. He was out of order and he had his warning. I gave him two warnings ... but he continued so I asked the officer to remove him."

The incident happened at a special meeting called to discuss the city's garbage contract.

Mays was the sole city council member to side with Mayor Karen Weaver's attempt to give the garbage contract to Rizzo Environmental Services.


"This was an attempt to keep the council from talking about an agenda item that we must talk about before we can move forward," said Mays at the time. "We can only vote and do something as a council. (Councilman Scott Kincaid) cannot file a lawsuit on the behalf of the council. You cannot represent the council unless you are an attorney."

Mays filed the damage claim against the city a week after his removal and outlined a number of cash settlements, including a $3,000 payment and public apology from Nelson and the officer that escorted him from the meeting, $5,000 and a public apology from Nelson or $10,000 with no apology at all.

Mays signed an agreement Sept. 9 to settle the claim for the $4,500 payment. He received the payment, minus $534.02 he owed to the city for property taxes and a water and sewer debt of $654.47.

"My position is that Nelson should be taken away," Mays said. "He conducts some of those council meetings in an unlawful discriminatory way. He should ask the Attorney General if he is conducting rules properly under Roberts Rules of Order. He prematurely asked the police officer to wrongfully remove me from the council meeting."

The payment was approved by City Attorney Stacy Erwin Oakes.

Erwin Oakes said Nelson did not follow council rules and that it was improper to handcuff Mays and take him out of the meeting.

"Ultimately, this proved to be an unfortunate and embarrassing incident that hopefully resulted in a teachable moment for all involved," Erwin Oakes said. "The claim resulted in a financial expense of 4.5 percent of the damage claim amount and a signed release in avoidance of a costly lawsuit."

However, Nelson believes the payment should have come before the council.

"No one has talked to Mrs. Oakes' office," said Nelson. "No one has talked to (City Clerk Inez Brown). I'm just strongly disturbed by a council person receiving a damage claim. If it's a settlement, all settlements must come before city council. It seems to be a settlement to me."

Erwin Oakes who was at the Aug. 1 meeting said damage claims do not have to go before council.

"The City Council President conducts City Council meetings," Erwin Oakes said in an emailed statement. "Contrary to popular opinion, the meetings are governed by Council's Rules, which supersede Robert's Rules of Order, that work as a guide with due regard for every member's opinion. Rules must be applied accurately and consistently to yield the desired result."

Rizzo was competing for the contract against Republic Services, the company Mays' colleagues on the council supported. However, Rizzo is now at the center of a federal investigation and a one-year contract was given to Republic with an option to extend the deal for a second year.

So far, two officials from Clinton and Macomb townships have been charged and arrested for alleged corruption and bribery as part of the investigation connected to the garbage hauler.

Days after the news of the federal investigation, Weaver's administration and city council members wrapped up negotiations regarding the ongoing trash dispute.

Mays, who said he was not privy to the negotiations, had asked for a special meeting to discuss the trash issue. The issue was ultimately hashed out between Nelson and Kincaid, members of Weaver's administration and attorneys representing both sides.
Post Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:36 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

How was this a damage claim? According to the City Attorney this payment was to prevent litigation. The Journal is revising the story to reflect Mays wanted $100,000 and not $10,000.

Look at flint charter and ordinances- No civil litigation of the city may be settled without the consent of the City Council.
Post Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:07 pm 
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