Money battle brewing between Flint police chief, councilman - WNEM TV 5

Money battle brewing between Flint police chief, councilman

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A local city councilman's plan to transfer thousands of dollars to a non-profit group is being met with resistance from the Flint Police Union.

The union said they’re at odds with the Police Activities League and how it’s chosen to spend its money.

The brewing battle goes all the way back to February 2016. Leaders of the program claim the city is abandoning the children, but the union argues the Flint Police Activities League is taking part in some shady practices.

Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson is not a happy man. 

"I'm more than upset! It's gotten passed upset a long time ago,” Johnson said.

Johnson is angry about a plan that would take about $80,000 from his department. The money would be sent to the Flint Police Activities League, or PAL, which mentors the city’s youth.

"I think it's a disrespect to the Flint Police Department when you want to come in our house and take money away from our officers who are already under-paid! They got screwed over by the emergency manager,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the money being given to PAL, a program he has accused of mishandling funds, would be better spent buying police cars or giving his officers raises.

"I can do something for the officers who have been out there on the front line. If they want to take it and do something with it, give it to the people who deserve it,” Johnson said.

Flint City Councilman Scott Kincaid said the money was tied to the salary of the city's deputy police chief, a position that hasn't been filled in five years. 

Kincaid said since the police chief wasn't using the money, council members decided to use it to fund the PAL program.

"This was money in his administration that he has not filled that position with, that he's used this money for other things within his own department and what we were looking at his how we could fund something for children,” Kincaid said.

City Council President Kerry Nelson said he supports the police department 100 percent, but said the extra cash was being wasted.

"This money has been sitting here, sitting there, no position, no deputy chief, and he was not even certain if he was going to fill it this time because we asked him,” Nelson said.

Johnson said he's not against fund programs for the city's kids and that’s why he has started another PAL program, which he said is truly serving the community.

The council passed the amendment 8 to 1 with Eric Mays voting it down.

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