Flint, MI– The Ethics and Accountability Board voted to launch an investigation into the removal of Eric Mays as president of the Flint City Council.
On April 11, the council passed a resolution removing Mays from his role as president, citing behavior that violates the charter.
The resolution notes that Mays “displayed behavior … in violation of the Rules Governing the Flint City Council and the Flint City Charter,” specifically at a meeting on Feb. 28.
The resolution to remove Councilman Eric Mays from his position as president passed during the April 11, 2022 meeting of the Flint City Council.
In the resolution document, one reason given for his removal is that the EAB recommended the enforcement of certain rules in a letter to the council.
The EAB did vote to send a letter to council in light of misconduct and charter violations, but their letter did not single out individual council members.
During their meeting on April 12, some EAB members said they felt that the mention of the board’s letter implied a recommendation of removal for Mays.
“Seems like to me, and I could have this wrong, they’re making it seem like it’s our recommendation to remove Councilman Mays,” said EAB member Carol McIntosh.
Board member Patrick Julian said he thought it looked like the maker of the resolution used the EAB’s letter to “beef their reasoning to do removal.”
Although the council’s resolution to remove Mays does not state that it came from the EAB, and does not quote the EAB as making that recommendation, Board Chair Pastor Allen Gilbert said he didn’t want the board mentioned at all under the scope of removal.
“Don’t put the Ethics and Accountability Board in your political chaos,” Gilbert said. “We’re not going to be used there.”
Gilbert said he would like to make a referral to City Attorney William Kim, who signed the resolution document, to find out how the document came to be.
“How can you reconcile ‘the EAB recommends the city council follow their rules currently in place,’ to a resolution to remove Councilman Eric Mays from his role as city council president?” Gilbert said. “Because our documentation that we sent out to the entire city council, there’s nothing in there whatsoever that says to remove an elected official. It’s not there.”
Board member Art Evans said he didn’t see why it was a problem that the resolution for removal mentioned the EAB’s recommendation to council to follow rules.
“We don’t want our interpretations or our recommendations in any documents introduced anywhere in the city? Is this a restriction we’re placing on ourselves?” Evans asked.
Assistant City Attorney Tom Sparrow also told the EAB that he didn’t see this resolution as “pointing the finger at the board.”
“The resolution may very well be neutral and simply saying, one reason here is because the ethics committee expressed grave concern about how the council is being run,” Sparrow said.
Still, the EAB voted 7-0 to investigate the resolution to find out who made it, and why the ethics board was mentioned.
Members also discussed the possibility that the removal of Mays from his presidency seat may not have been done in accordance with the charter.
Mays came before the EAB during their meeting on April 12, and told them he didn’t buy into his colleague’s definition of the word “decorum.”
“I’m not going to let people talk and walk all over me,” Mays said. “My daddy didn’t raise me that way.”