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Flint, MI — Flint City Councilman Eric Mays said his phone started to ring early on Tuesday morning with the news that the City Council voted unanimously to remove him as vice president and finance chair during a Monday, January 27, 2020 council meeting.
The councilman had been removed from the Monday night meeting after a contentious dialogue with Flint City Administrator Clyde Edwards. The vote to remove Mays came shortly after he left the meeting.
“I was getting calls from Arizona, Mississippi and California,” Mays said. “I got calls from across the country. I was getting calls from everywhere. [Flint City Council members] were attempting to do this for two or three weeks. They had set it up.” Mays has made headlines throughout his time on the Flint City Council, including recent news where he referred to Flint City Council President Monica Galloway as Adolf Hitler and did a Nazi salute.
His removal comes after nearly a month of heated and lengthy Flint City Council meetings where little to no city business was being conducted. Council members Maurice Davis, Jerri Winfrey-Carter, Santino Guerra, Herbert Winfrey, Allan Griggs, and President Monica Galloway all voted in favor of removing Mays from his positions as vice president and finance chair.
Immediately after his removal, the topic of leadership was brought to the floor by councilman Davis.
“The community is tired of this. Let’s stand up tonight and make a difference as a body,” said Davis, who made the motion to remove Mays from all leadership positions. The vote passed 6-0. Councilmembers Kate Fields and Eva Worthing were absent. Council members agreed to discuss who would fill his positions at a later date. The meeting adjourned at 11:07 p.m.
“I don’t frown upon [Galloway] giving him an opportunity but it is proven that the opportunity has not been treated with respect, and serving not only this Flint City Council but the city of Flint residents,” said Guerra during a discussion on the motion. “I agree that we should remove him from these positions just so we can actually get to city business on a proper time and I think this is better for not just the City Council but the city of Flint as a whole, and hopefully our colleagues can agree tonight.”
Following the removal of Mays, the members who were left proceeded to pass remaining resolutions on the agenda, minus a resolution requesting a subpoena by Mays for Genesee County Clerk, John Gleason, which they voted to drop.
Mays says the move to remove him was because of his request to subpoena Gleason.
“They are trying to run interference. This was an attempt to stop the subpoena against Gleason,” Mays said. “They are selling out their legislative duties to be in the mayor’s office.” Mays alleges that Gleason violated state law when now Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley held a press conference in Gleason’s office during his bid for mayor against the former mayor, Dr. Karen Weaver. Mays says the press conference may have impacted the election resulting in a loss for Weaver. City Attorney Angela Wheeler has said that there were failed attempts to serve Gleason with the subpoena.
“You mean to tell me we have a $23-million-dollar fund balance and we can’t hire process servers,” Mays said. She tried to serve him and tried to fool me.”
Mays said he will continue to push for the council to subpoena Gleason despite pushback from the council.
“I knew the whites were nasty,” said Mays of his fellow councilmembers. “But now I’m going to talk about the Blacks in the city that you can’t trust. I know there are at least four them.”
This is Mays’ second time being removed as finance chair. In January 2019 he was removed.
“I was illegally removed when I tried to call a meeting to order because I subpoenaed [Governor Rick Snyder], Amy Epkey and Rich Baird to show where $400 million went,” Mays said. “Now, I’m trying to subpoena Gleason. This ain’t no coincidence.”