Flint, MI — Flint City Councilman Eric Mays has filed a lawsuit against Council Vice President Ladel Lewis, Councilwoman Eva Worthing, Flint Police Chief Terence Green, the City of Flint and its police department following his removal from a city council meeting earlier this week.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan Flint Division on Oct. 25, two days after the meeting from which Mays was removed.
The lawsuit alleges that Mays’ first amendment rights and the Open Meetings Act were violated because of his removal.
“This is … corruption and discriminatory treatment,” Mays told Flint Beat as he was being removed from the meeting on Oct. 23.
Prior to Mays being removed, city council was going through several appeals that Mays made of Lewis’ chairing decisions, such as her alleging that he was out of order after he called her “nasty” and repeatedly called points of order.
Mays received multiple warnings, and Lewis requested that police officers escort him out for disrupting the meeting. At the time, Mays was not escorted out, and Lewis called for a five-minute recess. During that break, Mays was escorted out, allegedly at the orders of Chief Green.
“Yet again Flint City Councilman Eric B. Mays find himself faced with the gross injustice of censorship perpetrated upon him by his colleagues of the Flint City Council, specifically, the tyrannical and dictatorial Ladel Lewis in her dual roles as Vice-President of the Council and Chair of the Special Affairs Committee, and her cohort, Eva Worthing, whose unprofessional conduct on the Council continues to go overlooked and unpunished by Defendant Lewis,” Mays’ attorney, Joseph Cannizzo, Jr., wrote in an Oct. 25, 2023 email.
In response to the lawsuit, Lewis said that it’s her right to uphold a city code subsection which states that any person who “persists in disrupting” a meeting can be arrested for a misdemeanor.
“He definitely has his right to file, and it’s also our right to uphold the city code subsection 31-10,” she said.
Worthing said she hadn’t received any notice of the lawsuit, but that she believed Mays deserved to be kicked out.
“He was acting a fool, so he got kicked out. End of story,” she said. “He’s just trying to deflect his behavior and his consequences onto others.”