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Flint City councilman Eric Mays, known for confrontational style, dies

Eric Mays, Flint city councilman known for his passionate, confrontational style, dies at 65.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Eric Mays, a Flint city councilman known for his passionate, confrontational style, has died at 65. He's pictured here in a December 20, 2023, file photo.

Flint City Councilman Eric Mays has died. He was 65.

Mays’ political career was marked by his passionate arguments, which at times bordered on personal attacks against his fellow city councilmembers, other civic leaders, and whoever disagreed with him.

Mays’ confrontational style often put him at odds with his critics, and occasionally in handcuffs. More than one Flint city council meeting saw Mays led away by a city police officer.

Last April, Mays was placed on six months’ probation for disorderly conduct during a city council meeting in 2022.

After the judge’s ruling, Mays remained unapologetic, referring to the sentence as a “slap on the wrist.” He made it clear the sentence would not change the way he interacted with his fellow councilmembers

“Will I flaunt it and put it in their face? No, but I will continue to follow the rules and try my best to hold these newly elected council people accountable,” Mays said last April.

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, often a target of Mays’ criticism, called his death ”a tremendous loss.”

The flag at Flint City Hall will be lowered to half-staff in Mays’ honor beginning Monday.

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.