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Flint city council ejects, suspends controversial member

"We’re prepared to file litigation in federal court," Councilman Eric Mays said he plans to challenge his suspension
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
"We’re prepared to file litigation in federal court." Councilman Eric Mays said he plans to challenge his suspension.

After a chaotic several hours, the Flint city council Wednesday suspended a controversial councilman from his seat for 90 days.

Eric Mays’ decade-long tenure on the Flint city council has been marked by numerous shouting matches with colleagues. He’s also been escorted out of meetings by city police officers on numerous occasions in the past.

Both happened last night.

The city council voted five to three to suspend Mays for 90 days, shortly after Mays was ordered to leave the meeting and was escorted out of city hall by three Flint police officers.

The 3-month suspension motion accused Mays of making “constant frivolous motions” and using “racist rhetoric.” Allegations that Mays denies.

Smoking a cigarette outside Flint city hall, just after his latest ejection, Mays told reporters he will challenge his 3-month suspension in federal court.

“It’s never been done. It’s unprecedented,” said Mays, “We’ll see how long it takes us to get justice.”

Mays said he opposed another action by the council to move $40 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to the city’s general fund.

The council approved the transfer after May’s ouster.

City officials say transferring the funds to the city’s general fund will result in the city of Flint receiving about a quarter million dollars in additional money from the state of Michigan.

Several council members voiced concern that transferring the ARPA funds to the city’s general fund will give them less control over how the federal dollars will be spent.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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