Flint, MI — Flint City Councilman Eric Mays’ August 2023 suspension is back on after a circuit court judge dissolved the councilman’s temporary injunctive relief.
On Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, Judge B. Chris Christenson ordered the dissolution of an earlier order that allowed Mays back into council meetings despite his colleagues’ vote to suspend him until Sept. 1.
Christenson’s decision came over Zoom today after Flint City Council, the defendant in Mays’ court case challenging the suspension, filed a motion to dissolve the judge’s prior order on Aug. 9.
Council’s motion, submitted by City Attorney Bill Kim, notes that Mays’ “request for expedited injunctive relief fails to establish any of the factors that would justify such relief and thus lacks any legal merit whatsoever.”
The motion goes on to address concerns over an unsigned affidavit and issues of statutory interpretation before affirming that Flint City Council has the authority to discipline its members.
“While not binding, federal courts consistently recognize that a legislative body has the inherent power to discipline and punish its own members,” the motion reads.
“…the Flint City Council not only has inherent authority to do so, it has the explicit authority under state and local law to do so,” it continues in a later paragraph. “The Flint City Charter provides that ‘The City Council shall determine its own rules of procedure, may compel attendance of members, and may punish its own members for misconduct.”
For his part, Mays said he did not believe Judge Christenson ruled properly.
“I don’t believe the judge ruled right,” he said. “I believe this ruling was erroneous.”
Mays added that he believed holding the meeting virtually had hindered his case.
“Based upon us having a Zoom hearing, I couldn’t talk to my attorneys, I couldn’t communicate properly,” Mays said.
The first ward councilman was able to attend one meeting on Aug. 9 while the temporary injunction on his suspension was in effect.
Mays’ now-upheld suspension does not forbid him from attending city council meetings as a member of the public, but it does prohibit him “from taking his seat or participating, in any meeting of the City Council or its committees, in his official capacity as a City Councilmember,” according to resolution language.
Flint City Council’s next meeting will be held tonight, Aug. 14, at the Genesee County Administration Building.
Council is set to discuss the use of $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for home repairs as well as a financing plan for development at Flint’s former Buick City site.