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[paypal_donation_button]FLINT, MI – Flint Interim City Attorney Angela Wheeler has warned City Council members of a breach of confidentiality after an email was sent out to non-city officials regarding whether Mayor Karen Weaver’s adviser Aonie Gilcreast had been vetted.
The memo, dated June 2, 2017, was sent to council members from Wheeler after Councilwoman Jackie Poplar asked for a legal opinion regarding whether Gilcreast had a background check.
“The problem is if the council comes to me on a confidential opinion on anything…then it should not ever be communicated outside because it’s for the benefit of the decisions that you’re making,” Wheeler said to the council during a June 7, 2017 committee meeting.
Flint City Council voted in the June 7 meeting to take the issue into executive session during a June 12, 2017 committee meeting to address questions.
“When you got a confidential memo believe me there’s a reason for that and we don’t want to compromise our position,” said Councilman Eric Mays who asked that the issue be taken into executive session. “All confidential memos I take them confidentially…that particular confidential memo I want to talk about…(there were) some things in there that really need to be understood.”
Some council members have questioned Gilcreast’s role at city hall including Weaver’s attempts to put Gilcreast on the city’s payroll.
Councilwoman Kate Fields said after the memo was sent to non-city officials the legal department checked council members’ email accounts.
Fields asked that city council put in a request for outside legal representation to look into claims that Wheeler checked council members’ email accounts saying it was an invasion of privacy.
“The city attorney went into the city council emails,” Fields said. “She asked the IT department to go in and look at our emails which amounts to invasion of privacy.”
Councilman Scott Kincaid said there is a process for the council to go through to secure outside legal representation including submitting three attorneys to the city’s legal department and submitting a reason as to why the city needs an outside attorney to investigate an issue.
Kincaid said he would help Fields with her request for outside legal help.