Judge denies Flint mayor’s request for protection order against man pushing recall efforts

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FLINT, MI – A Genesee County judge has denied Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s petition for a personal protection order against a man leading recall efforts to remove her from office.

Weaver filed a petition for an expedited PPO against Flint resident Arthur Woodson who submitted recall language that was approved by the Genesee County Elections Commission earlier this month.

“I am fearful for my life because of previous interactions with Mr. Woodson,” wrote Weaver in her submitted evidence with the petition.

The PPO petition was signed by Weaver on March 14, 2017 and filed with the Genesee County Personal Protection Order office on March 21, 2017.

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah denied her request on March 22, 2017.

Woodson denied claims made in the petition and said the petition was filed because of the recall.

“I’m getting a lawyer for all these false accusations,” Woodson said. “The mayor did this as an elected official making it look like the city is against me. These are lies.”

Weaver submitted the petition as Flint’s mayor and signed off on at least one statement as “Dr. Karen W. Weaver, Mayor City of Flint,” according to documents attached to the petition.

In a statement submitted with the petition, Weaver says Woodson makes her feel “uncomfortable” and he is “obsessed” with the mayor.

“I need a personal protection order because I have received threatening mail that I believe came from Arthur Woodson,” wrote Weaver in one of two statements. “He says he loves me. When he gets close to me and says it in an overly affectionate manner. He tells me he “just wants to be close to me” like others are.”

Person Protection Order Petiton documents filed by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver by Flint Beat on Scribd

Woodson filed recall language over Flint’s controversial trash contract.

Weaver later filed documents on March 17 with the Genesee County Clerk’s office to appeal recall language approved on March 8 to start efforts to remove her from office.

Under Michigan law she had 10 days to file the appeal.

Woodson’s approved language was the fourth attempt to remove Weaver. He initially submitted language on Jan. 23, 2017. Another Flint resident, Alex Harris, had also submitted language to remove Weaver twice but the Genesee County Elections Commission did not approve his submissions.

Woodson initially submitted recall language on Jan. 23, 2017. On January 27 he withdrew that language saying he met with Weaver to address his concerns.

He submitted the Feb. 24 language after he said Weaver did not keep promises made at the meeting.

Weaver has not confirmed that she met with Woodson and FlintBeat.com could not reach the mayor or City Spokeswoman Kristin Moore for comment.

Woodson’s language filed with the Genesee County Clerk’s Office on Feb. 24 reads:

“Mayor Karen Weaver, on September 22, 2016 signed an emergency waste collection contract with Rizzo Environmental Service(s).”

The trash dispute lingered for months as Flint City Council members and Weaver’s administration fought over whom would haul Flint’s garbage.

In June 2016, Weaver’s administration asked the council to approve a $17.9 million contract with Rizzo Environmental Services but council members questioned the company’s integrity and later voted 8 to 1 to not support Weaver’s recommendation.

Flint City Councilman Eric Mays was the sole supporter of Weaver’s recommendation.

Ultimately, the council and Weaver’s team came to an agreement to continue using Republic Waste Services to haul Flint’s trash shortly after October 2016 reports that Rizzo was at the center of a federal corruption investigation.

While Weaver is appealing the decision, signature-collecting efforts are on hold but Woodson said his team is still organizing. He has to collect an estimated 5,800 signatures.

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