Flint, MI — Flint City Councilman Eric Mays has filed a notice of appeal regarding his disorderly conduct conviction from April 2023.
Mays’ conviction came after he was arrested at a city council meeting in April 2022, which resulted in a trial held in March of this year.
John Fernandez, Mays’ attorney for the appeal, declined to share any details regarding the Ward 1 councilman’s grounds for the action, but he said Mays is exercising his rights.
“Eric Mays has been one of the most vocal supporters and advocates on behalf of the people of the City of Flint. In particular, those who live in his ward,” he said. “But he advocates obviously on behalf of the entire city, and he has for a long time.”
The next step is waiting for an acknowledgement of the appeal from the City of Flint and the county prosecutor. According to documentation shared with Flint Beat, notice to both entities was mailed on May 12, 2023.
Eric Mays and the City of Flint did not respond to a request for comment.
Immediately following Mays’ conviction in March 2023, he said he was surprised by the verdict and that he thought things would have gone better for him if the people in the jury were from Flint.
“I think that I would have rather had a jury of my peers. You had people from Flushing, Swartz Creek, Grand Blanc. I would have preferred Flint residents,” Mays said at the time.
Prior to his client’s sentencing on April 25, 2023, Mays’ attorney Ken Scott suggested that the case was a mistrial because of false testimony given by multiple councilmembers regarding council rules and what happened at the meeting.
“The prosecution has an affirmative duty to correct false testimony,” Scott said during the proceedings.
The City of Flint’s attorney, Michael Gildner told Judge Vikki Bayeh-Haley that the testimonies from City Council President Allie Herkenroder and Councilwoman Judy Priestley were just a misunderstanding.
Ultimately, Bayeh-Haley denied Scott’s motion for a mistrial, saying that even though false testimony was given, the jury had the opportunity to view the video and the council’s rules, both of which show what happened and how the rules work.
Therefore, Bayeh-Haley ruled, the councilman did have a fair trial, and she sentenced him to 6 months probation and a $125 fine.