Flint, MI– Flint City Councilman Eric Mays told his colleagues he might see them in court following a vote to remove him as council president.

In a meeting that lasted more than ten hours on April 11, six council members voted to remove Mays from his role as president, citing behavior that violated council rules. 

During the council meeting on April 20, Mays said he thought it was “an illegal proceeding.” 

He requested to go into closed executive session on the matter but the council voted not to. Mays said it could “matter less” to him, and that he’d have an open discussion instead at the end of the meeting. If not, he said he would be taking the discussion elsewhere. 

“If that doesn’t happen, I can assure you 100% that the final arena, and that’s probably where it’s going to go anyway with this crowd, they’ll be coming to court, maybe,” Mays said. 

Mays said this was about more than just the vote to remove him as president, but also the way the council took the vote.

The council first voted to suspend their operating rules. With no rules in place, chaos ensued as members spoke over each other. Councilman Dennis Pfeiffer called for a five-minute recess, but as soon as council members got up, Mays announced that the meeting was adjourned for lack of a quorum. 

Although Mays announced that the meeting was adjourned, seven council members who had gotten up for the recess reconvened the meeting. Mays was no longer present.

It was at this reconvened meeting that the council took the vote to remove Mays as president. They also voted through several other items including a $16 million blight program and a $2 million road construction project. 

“To some of us, including the legal people I consulted with, when people came back and reconvened without posting a meeting that had been adjourned for lack of a quorum, you also passed $16 million in business. … It wasn’t just the president business,” Mays said.

Mays said he thought that the reconvened meeting was “an illegal proceeding.”

Although the council voted 5-2 to approve having the discussion Mays requested, they skipped it once they got to the end of the agenda. 

Councilman Quincy Murphy, who had voted against having the discussion, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. 

Mays said he didn’t think it was right to adjourn the meeting before having the discussion even though the body had voted to allow it. But still, the majority of council voted to adjourn the meeting without fulfilling their original vote to allow discussion about the April 11 meeting.

Earlier in the meeting, Mays said he wouldn’t be losing sleep over whether the council voted to allow a closed session or a discussion item on the matter. 

“Our job is not to litigate, but we have no problem litigating,” Mays said. 

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...