Flint, MI – Flint City Council has approved another $189,000 in settlement funding stemming from a 2019 lawsuit accusing former city officials of racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

Council began its Special Affairs meeting on June 12, 2023, by going into an executive session regarding a settlement in the case of Matt Baker et al v City of Flint et al.

The case, in which 17 plaintiffs accused former Flint Police Chief Timothy Johnson and former Flint Human Resources Director Makini Jackson of sexual harassment and racial discrimination in hiring, had already been partially settled in January of this year.

At that time, the council voted 5-2 to approve payouts totaling $360,000 to five of the named plaintiffs in the case: Lisa Gordon, Tracee Walker, Mary Buszek, Alfino Donastorg and Donald Lewis.

During the January vote, Councilman Eric Mays said he felt the settlement was “not quite right” and accused fellow councilmembers of a “great coverup.”

In the aftermath of Mays’ statement, ABC12 News shared the details of the Baker lawsuit, in which current Flint PD detective and spokesperson Tyrone Booth was named in some of Buszek’s allegations, though he was not a defendant in the case.

During the June 12 council meeting, council ultimately voted 6-0 to approve a second settlement payout, with Mays and Councilman Quincy Murphy absent and Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter abstaining.

The resolution states that the city admits no liability for the claims of discrimination and the following plaintiffs are receiving settlement money:

  • Esther Campbell: $75,000
  • Dominic Tefft: $30,000
  • Troy Simpson: $30,000
  • Carissa Dotson: $29,000
  • Kathleen Villareal: $25,000

Adding these amounts to the previously approved partial settlement, the total payout thus far in the case comes to $549,000. According to Flint Beat’s prior reporting, that money will be drawn from appropriated funds in the litigation and suits line item of the city’s budget.

When asked by Councilwoman Tonya Burns, City Attorney Bill Kim said there were still six claimants remaining in the case.

Sophia is Flint Beat's City Hall reporter. She joins the team after previously reporting for the Livingston Daily and the Lansing State Journal, along with some freelance work with The New York Times....

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....